Chishaku-in Temple (Chisan School,location,history)

Chishaku-in Temple, Chisan School

The information about Chishaku-in Temple is presented here. Chishaku-in Temple is the main temple of the Chisan School of the Shingon sect. All of its branch temples, Naritasan Shinshoji Temple (Chiba Prefecture), Kawasaki Daishi Heimenji Temple (Kanagawa Prefecture), and Takaosan Yakuoin Temple (Tokyo), attract many visitors during the New Year. There are more than 3,000 temples of the Chizan School of Shingon Buddhism throughout Japan.

【Chishaku-in Temple Location Map & Directions】

Address: 964 Higashigawara-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Higashiyama Shichijo bus stop (about 3 minutes on foot), Keihan Shichijo Station (about 8 minutes on foot)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: 9:00-16:00
Closed: December 29th-31st is a holiday

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】

Individual: Adults 500 yen, High and Junior High School Students 300 yen, Elementary School Students 200 yen

【Chishaku-in Temple History】

Negoro-ji Temple (根来寺) is said to have originated in 1132 when Kogyo-daishi Kakuban, the founder of the Shingi Shingon sect, built Daidenpoin on Koyasan (Wakayama). Kogyo-daishi Kakuban was trusted by the 74th Emperor Toba and became zasu (head monk) of Koyasan Kongobu-ji Temple in 1134. However, the faction of Kogyo-daishi Kakuban that wanted to revive the doctrine of Kobo-daishi Kukai and the opposition faction clashed, and in 1140 the jubo of Kogyo-daishi Kakuban was burned down by the opposition, and the faction of Kogyo-daishi Kakuban left Koyasan and moved to Negoro (Wakayama). Then, on December 12, 1143, Kogyo-daishi Kakuban died. In 1288, Raiyu, the head monk of Daidenpoin (Negoro-ji Temple), transferred the status of the temple from Koyasan to Negorosan. Negorosan flourished in terms of education, and at its peak there were 2,900 bo and about 6,000 monks studying there.
Chishaku-in Temple (智積院) is said to have originated during the Nanbokucho period (1337-1392), when Shinkenbo Chosei, the head monk of Daidenpoin (Negoro-ji Temple), built an academic institution, a subtemple of Negoro-ji Temple, in Negorosan. In 1585, Negoro-ji Temple came into conflict with Toyotomi Hideyoshi and most of its do (halls) and to (pagodas) were destroyed by fire in the Negoro-zeme (Negoro attack). It is said that Negoro-ji Temple had as many as 2,700 do (halls) and to (pagodas). Genyu-sojo, the head monk of Chishaku-in Temple, had fled to Koyasan before the Negoro-zeme (Negoro attack). Chishaku-in Temple was revived in Higashiyama, Kyoto in 1601 by Genyu-sojo. Genyu-sojo received a donation of bosha (buildings) and land of Toyokuni Shrine, where Toyotomi Hideyoshi was enshrined as Toyokuni Daimyojin, from Tokugawa Ieyasu, the 1st shogun of the Edo Shogunate. When the Toyotomi family perished in the Osaka Natsu-no-jin (Summer Campaign) in 1615, Chishaku-in Temple received Shounzen-ji Temple, which was built adjacent to Chishaku-in Temple in 1591 to mourn the loss of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s son Sutemaru (Tsurumatsu), who died at the age of three, and the grounds and temple complex were expanded. Incidentally, the murals painted by Hasegawa Tohaku’s family, which were declared national treasures, were displayed in the kyakuden of Shounzen-ji Temple. The official name of Chishaku-in Temple was Iobusan Negoroji Chishakuin (五百仏山根来寺智積院). In the early Edo period (1603-1868), the 7th head monk, Unsho-sojo, studied the Shingon sect and established the Chisan doctrine. In 1682, Kyakuden of Shounzen-ji Temple was destroyed by fire. In 1705, the 10th head monk, Senkai-sojo, planned to build Kondo and Kondo was built with the 1,000 ryo of gold donation from Keishoin, the birth mother of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the 5th shogun of the Edo shogunate. In 1869, Kangakuin, which was the main dojo (center) of the Chisan doctrine and the camp of the Tosa-han, was burned down. In 1882, Kondo was burned down, and in 1947, Kodo was hit by a fire that destroyed 16 of Shinden’s murals, which had been designated as national treasures. Kondo was rebuilt in 1975 and Kodo in 1995.
*reference・・・Chishaku-in Temple website

【Chishaku-in Temple Highlights (May be undisclosed)】

★Taishido (大師堂) was rebuilt in 1789. Taishido houses the statue of Kobo-daishi Kukai. It is said that the statue of Kobo-daishi Kukai was copied from the statue of Kobo-daishi Kukai housed in Miedo of To-ji Temple during the Edo period.
★Mitsugondo (密厳堂) was built in 1667. Mitsugondo is Kaizando and enshrines Kogyo-daishi Kakuban, the founder of the Shingi Shingon sect.
★Kondo (金堂) was rebuilt in 1975 to commemorate the 1,200th anniversary of the birth of Kobo-daishi Kukai, the founder of the Shingon. Kondo is Hondo (main hall) of Chishaku-in Temple. Kondo enshrines Kongokai Dainichi Nyorai and also enshrines Taizokai Dainichi Nyorai in the basement.
★The garden (庭園) behind the stone bridge was created during Shounzen-ji Temple (Aduchi Momoyama period (1573-1603)), and the front garden with the cascading waterfall was created during the Edo period (1603-1868). The garden was restored by the monk Unsho-sojo and is said to be the best garden in the Higashiyama area. The garden is modeled after Rozan in China, with the mountains modeled after Rozan and the pond modeled after the Yosuko River.
智積院見どころ (Chishaku-in Temple Highlights)

【Events (confirmation required)】

★Aoba Matsuri (青葉まつり) is held every year on June 15th. Aoba Matsuri is a Buddhist event to celebrating the birth of Kobo-daishi Kukai, the founder of the Shingon sect, and Kogyo-daishi Kakuban, the founder of the Shingi Shingon sect. At Aoba Matsuri, a celebration ceremony and saito ogomaku-hoyo by yamabushi are held.

【Flower Calendar (cherry blossoms, etc )】

★The best time to see cherry blossoms (桜) is around early April. Somei-Yoshino, Oshima-zakura, Yae-Beni-shidare, and Yama-zakura are planted along the approach to the temple and the temple grounds, and it is said that the scenery of the cherry blossoms, Kondo, and Meioden is beautiful.
★The best time to see hydrangeas (アジサイ) is from early June to early July. Around 2012, seiyo-ajisai, gaku-ajisai and other hydrangeas were planted in the ajisai-en (garden) that was built behind Kondo, and they bloom in red, blue, and purple.
★The best time to see autumn leaves (紅葉) is from mid-November to early December. Maple trees, ginkgo and other trees are planted along the approach to Kondo and in the garden facing Kondo and Dai-Shoin, and the scenery of the autumn leaves, the approach, Kondo and the garden is said to be beautiful.
(The best time to see the plants depends on the climate of the year.)

【Telephone (Please refrain from making phone calls.)】

Tel: +81-75-771-5725

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended walking route from Chishaku-in Temple is to walk around Toyokuni Shrine and Hoko-ji Temple on the north side. Both Toyokuni Shrine and Hoko-ji Temple are related to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who was active during the Azuchi-Momoyama period, and you can feel the history. It is also recommended to walk through Sanjusangendo Temple on the west side. In Sanjusangendo Temple, more than 1,000 Senju Kannon (thousand-handed Kannon) are housed in Rengeoin Hondo (main hall), which is more than 100 meters long.

【Remarks(access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】
If you plan to visit Chishaku-in Temple, be sure to check the latest information.


  1. 錦市場(Nishiki Market)
  2. 竹林の道(Bamboo Forest Path)
  3. 嵐山