Sennyu-ji Temple(泉涌寺)
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Sennyu-ji Temple(泉涌寺)

1. Location-Access

This temple is located at the foot of Tukinowa-yama Mountain in the south-eastern of Rakunan Area in Kyoto ,near the Sanjyusanken-do and Tofuku-ji.
It takes 10 minutes by city bus #202 from Kyoto sta. to Sennyuji-michi, 7-minute walk.
市バス#202系統 京都駅(約10分)→泉涌寺道(徒歩7分) )

2. Who was this temple built ?

1) This temple is the lead temple of Sennyu-ji Temple group of Singon Sect of Zen Buddhism, the principality is Syaka Nyorai, Amida Nyorai and Miroku Nyorai.
2) This temple was established by Koubou-Taishi as a Hourin-ji. Afterward, it is said that Tikiwa-Taishi, Shinjyo who returned to Japan from Sou in 1218, rebuilt this temple. He changed to the name as Sennyu-ji Temple because water springed up from the corner the temple.
3) This temple centered ground the Ritsu Sect, as afour sect place of enlightenment combining the Tendai Sect, Shingon Sect, Zen Sect and Pure land Sect.
4) Then this temple has been supported by various Emperor and Imperial House, and prosperous as the brave of Imperial House. It was seriously believed by both Courtier and Samurai families such as Emperor Gotoba, Emperoe Juntoku, Gotakakura-in, Houjo Masako and Houjyo Yasutoki.
5) Each Emperor from the north-south Dynasty to Azuchi-Momoyama period, and the Emperor and Empress drom Emperor Gojyousei to Emperor Koumei, were funerals here and were enshrined at mountain ridge.
(南北朝から安土桃山時代における諸天皇、江戸時代の御陽成天皇から孝明天皇までの歴代天皇・皇后の御葬儀は泉涌寺で行われて山稜に設けられている。 )

3. What is this temple famous for ?

1) Midera  御 寺

① As an Imperial bodice, Midera was held on the funerals of many Emperors and is called”Midera” from a deep relationship with the Imperial Family.
② In this temple, it arranged many sub-temples and central temple buildings with Daimon, Buddha Hall, Relquary Hall. There are Reimeiden and Gozasho enshrined the reverence for Emperor Tenchi and after Emperor Kanmu.

2) Youkihi Kannon-do  楊貴妃観音堂(重要文化財)

The Yokihi Kannon statue is also famous. Yokihi was a Chinese Emperor’s wife and was known as a most beautiful woman. There is a legend that the Emperor had this statue made to remember the by after she han passed away.

4.  What is highlight ?

1) Daimon  大門(重要文化財)

In Edo period, Daimon was relocated from Imperial Palace and is called “Higashiyama-mon”.

2) Kudari Sando 下り参道

There is the main hall on passing through Daimon. It is a rare creation called “descending approach”. We can look down on the whole temple area from up here at the main gate. Sennyu-ji has a lot to do with the Imperial Family. Some of these buildings were moved from the Imperial Palace.

3) Butsuden(Buddha Hall) 仏殿(非公開) 重要文化財

Butsudan was burned down by Ounin war but was rebuilt by Tokugawa Shogunate 4th Ietsuna in 1668. There are the third Buddha representing Present, Past, Future in altar.
Nirvarna painted by Unkei, which is drawn to Buddha from ceiling to floor, is published in 14-16 of Spring.

4) Syariden(Reliquary Hall) 舎利殿/鳴き龍

A feast is a bone of Buddha and Buddha’s shrine is enshrined. “banryu-zu” which a dragon was painted by Tankyu Kano, is drawn on the ceiling. Clapping hands at specific location causes vibrations which have led to it being referred to as the “Raring Dragon”.
In 1228, Priest Tankai brought home a Feast and Tsutenten statue,Mooncap from Sou.

5) Gozasyo  御座所

In 1818, Gozasyo was relocated in reconstructing Reimeiden with living room for Emperor and Imperial Family. The garden with Zuicho petal illustration painted by Kano Eiden, as the throne space is getting higher.
No wonder there are so many beautiful buildings in this temple. The Gozosho palace in the back is one of them. It has beautiful screen paintings and a garden.

6) Reimeiden  霊明殿(通常非公開)

Imperial portrait and mortuary tablet was enshrined in 1882. They were burned down and rebuilt with the intention of Emperor Meiji.

7) Chokusi-mon 勅使門

Chokushi-mon was rebuilt in 1845, late Edo period and is opened on visiting Emperor family messenger.

8) Kaizan-do  開山堂(重要文化財)

There are Muhoto towers enshrined successive elders around here, inside Muhoto tower enshrined Syonjyo-Tiahi.