Iyama Hofukuji temple


Today we are going to try Zen meditation, ‘Zazen’, so we visited Iyama Hofukuji temple in Soja City.
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Iyama Hofukuji temple, a temple of Zen Buddhism, is well-known as a place where a monk Sesshu(1420-1506)
had underwent spiritual exercises.


The garden is beautifully maintained

This garden  is also a popular spot for autumn leaves

                                                                                                                     ©Hareranman Okayama tabi net

 It takes about 40 min by car from Okayama station to the temple.
Or, get on a train from Okayama station and get off at Soja station, then,

it takes 10min by cab

This is a three-storied pagoda which is located behind the temple, on a height.

It was built about 600 years ago, it’s the second oldest pagoda in Okayama.
Unfortunatelly, we weren’t able to enter it. Apparently, it has a wonderful ceiling with a painting of a nymph ‘Tennyo’.

This building is called ‘Hojo’, it has a legend of Sesshu. 
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Here is the story.
When Sesshu was young, he tended not to concentrate on
spiritual exercises since he was into drawing pictures

For that reason, one day, he was punished by a priest, being bound to the pillar.
He cried, and he drew a picture of a rat with his tears on the floor

The priest was really impressed with his painting since the rat looked real

This is a suclpture
of Sesshu in the story


Here’s a main building of the temple, ‘Butsu den’.

It’s a typical Zen Biddihism style building, especially the round window

It’sacred to a Buddhist saint, 'Kokuuzou bosatsu' who gives us wisdom and wealth.


There is a gate in the east of the main building.

It has a gorgeous engraving on it, it gives dignified feeling.

We came into these sculptures!
They are seven gods of fortune ‘Shichifuku jin’. I love their cheerful smile


Iyama Hofukuji temple

Address: 1968 Ijirino, Soja City

Tel: 0866-92-0024



By the way, there’s a Japanese restaurant ‘Kinki’ near the temple which serves vegan courses for Buddhist monks.


That kind of cuisine is called ‘Shojin ryori, it has been eaten by monks on training from old times.
Shojin ryori doesn't contain any meat and fish, and it has delicate f
It’s becoming popular as a diet food nowdays.

This is Sesshu Gozen (2079 yen)’.
©Shojin ryori Kinki                                                                 
Some foods imitate meat or fish.
For instance, what looks like Sashimi (raw fish)  on the white plate is Konnyaku jelly made of konnyaku potato.

There are some courses, so you have choices.
It costs about 2000 - 6000 yen per person.
Please note that you need to book a table in advance (by the day before you visit).
You can book on a phone or by e-mail (English ok)
                                                                       ©Shojin ryori Kinki

Each course is prepared from seasonal ingredients, for that reason, the menu is according to season.
In Shojin cuisine, everything from the ingredients to the serving dishes is planned with the greatest care, to reflect the bounty of the seasons

It tastes simple but deep. Please try it once

Shojin ryori Kinki
Address: 1958 Ijirino, Soja City (near Hofukuji temple)

Tel: 0866-92-3056

Opening time: 11:00-21:00 (booking needed)
Mail: kinki@ac.wakwak.com



We’ll try Zazen next time!

A: Iyama Hofukuji temple   B: Shojin ryori Kinki


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