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att. Travel - Shomyo-ji Temple / Kanazawa-Bunko Museum
You are here: att.JAPAN > Travel Guide > Shomyo-ji Temple / Kanazawa-Bunko Museum
att.JAPAN Issue 48, September 2009

Shomyo-ji Temple / Kanazawa-Bunko Museum

Shomyo-ji Temple and Kanazawa-Bunko Museum are located at the southern tip of Yokohama City. It takes about 16 minutes from Yokohama Station to Kanazawa-Bunko Station by rapid train on the Keihin-Kyuko Line, and a 15-minute walk brings you to Shomyo-ji Temple. The temple holds the Kanazawa-Bunko. Though close to the ocean, the temple is surrounded on three sides by hills. It is a venerable old temple, with Aka-mon (red gate), Nio-mon gate, Hon-do (main building), Kon-do, a bell, a pond, and a quiet garden.

Shomyo-ji Temple was established by Hojo Sanetoki (1224-1276) of the Kanazawa-Hojo family, a branch of the Hojo clan who controlled the reins of the Kamakura Bakufu government (1192-1333). From the time of its establishment, the temple prospered as a family temple of the Kanazawa-Hojo clan. But with the collapse of the Kamakura government, the Kanazawa-Hojo family fell and the temple, too, fell into decline.

Many sites of the precincts are designated as national historical sites. The temple also has many national treasures and important cultural assets. The Jodo-style garden in front of the Kon-do was completed in 1320 and reconstructed in 1987. A Jodo-style garden is a garden made in accordance with concepts of mandalas in Pure Land Buddhism.

Kanazawa-Bunko has a strong connection with Shomyo-ji Temple. The learned Hojo Sanetoki founded the library in 1275 just before he passed away. It housed books collected by him ranging from politics, history, literature, to works of Buddhism. Today, it is a history museum named Kanagawa Prefectural Kanazawa-Bunko Museum and holds valuable cultural assets and historical materials of the Kamakura era.

The area around the temple is called Shomyo-ji Shimin-no-Mori (woods). You can see panoramic views of the surroundings, including Hakkei-jima, Umi-no-Koen, No-jima, and the Boso Peninsula from Hakkaku Hiroba (square) atop of the Kanazawayama Hill.

Adjacent Nokendai also commands splendid views, which are called Kanazawa Hakkei, meaning eight superb landscapes. Hakkei-jima, famous for aquarium Sea Paradise, and Umi-no-Koen, which is the only sand beach in Yokohama City, are nearby so visiting there is also recommended.

Japan Railway Map PDF 414 KB
Yokohama Kannai PDF 273 KB
Yokohama MM21 PDF 207 KB
Yokohama Station PDF 135 KB
Yokohama Subway Map PDF 205 KB

Kanagawa Prefecture Tourist Information
Yokohama City
Yokohama City Tourist Information

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