Yamaguchi – Rurikoji temple


Where is it located?

Have you been to Yamaguchi prefecture? It is located in Japan’s Chugoku region, on the southwest side of Honshu Island. The prefecture is surrounded by Hibiki-nada Sea (Northwest of Kanmon Straits between Honshu and Kyushu), the Sea of Japan, and Seto Inland Sea. Because of its unique location, you can enjoy beautiful nature and food, especially spectacular ocean views and great seafood. Also, it has its own culture and history which have fascinated people who visited the area. The journey begins with one of the most amazing historical sites in the prefecture – Rurikoji Temple.

How to get there and when was it built?

The best way to get to the temple from Tokyo is to fly into the Ube airport and drive about 40 minutes to the capital which is also called Yamaguchi where the Rurikoji temple, a Soto Zen temple, is located. The temple, the only national treasure in the city, is five-storied pagoda and is a symbol of the old town of Yamaguchi. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the temple changes its impressions each season. Most part of the temple was made in a Japanese architectural style but also incorporates a Chinese style. When Ouchi Yoshihiro (1356-1400), a Muromachi period samurai clan head, was killed in the war, his younger brother, Ouchi Moriharu decided to build the temple to mourn for his brother. It is said that the temple was first built in 1442. Once the temple was about to be demolished but was kept in the end as the people in the town strongly wished to preserve it.

What is the atmosphere?

Once you enter the garden and look up the temple, you can feel how peaceful the place is and how long the temple survived until today. It reminds you of the good era when Ouchi family ruled the Suo province (Modern-day eastern Yamaguchi prefecture). The nature surrounding the temple and the wooden temple perfectly match with each other, which make us realize that the temple has been a part of the nature in the city for a long time. It is worth walking around the temple and read the history of it once you are at the site.

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