Minobu-san Kuon-ji Temple is the head temple of the Nichiren school of Buddhism that was founded by Nichiren during the Kamakura Period. It is located on the mountainside of Mount Minobu, which is in the southern part of Yamanashi Prefecture, and is crowded with many visitors throughout the year. The path to the main hall consists of 287 stone steps. There is a belief that if one climbs all the stairs, that person can reach Nirvana. The main hall and Five-story pagoda can be seen when visitors finish climbing the aesthetic steps surrounded by Japanese cedar. The Five-story pagoda underwent reconstruction in 2009.
In this area visitors can see the Senbosugi (cedar tree), which is over 40-meters high and is designated as a Natural Monument of Yamanashi Prefecture. In addition to that you can find a weeping cherry tree which is more than 400 years old. This tree is also famous for being among the "Top 10 weeping cherry trees in Japan". The best time to see it is from the end of March to the beginning of April. Share taxies are in service from the town of Monzen to the precinct of Kuon-ji. Moving elevators from the parking area are installed so that handicapped visitors can access the site. Both Japanese cedar and weeping cherry trees are definitely worth seeing.
A ropeway is installed behind the Minobu-san Kuon-ji Temple and it leads to the top of the mountain. There you can see "Okuno-inshi-shinkaku" which was constructed by Nichiren to commemorate his parents and teacher. There are three observation decks on the top of the mountain as well. You can enjoy a magnificent view of Mt.Fuji on the east side, Suruga Bay on the south side, Mt. Shichimenzan on the west side, and the South Japan Alps and Koufu Basin on the north side. These panoramic views are worth seeing, so visitors are highly encouraged to go.
The famous Mt. Shichimenzan on the west side of Minobu-san is a sacred place of Lotus Sutra. There, the sunrise can be seen from the top of Mt. Fuji during vernal equinox and autumnal equinox. It takes four or five hours from the entrance of the mountain to the top of the mountain. However, visitors may find it very tough to climb up the mountain. Climbing up the steep mountain road is considered to be a method of training of the Nichiren school of Buddhism. Climbing up the mountain to see the sunrise may be an interesting option for visitors to consider doing. Also, visitors can try "Minobu-manju" (a traditional Japanese sweet) when exhausted after climbing the mountain. You can purchase it on the summit.
There is a treasure house where many National Treasures, Important Cultural Properties, and Designated Cultural Properties are kept. The entrance fees are 300 yen for adults, 200 yen for college and high school students, and 100 yen for junior high school students and schoolchildren. The facility is open between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. Last entrance is 3:30 pm. The building is closed on Thursdays and the next day after public holidays. No closing days in April and August. After paying the admission fee you can also experience five minutes of transcribing a sutra for free. It is a great chance for people who have an interest in transcribing a sutra.
Bus: It is a 12 minute bus ride on the bus bound for Minobu-san from Minobu Station of the JR Minobu Line. Car: It is 40 minutes from Masuho Interchange on the Chuo Expressway・Chubu-Odan Expressway, or 50 minutes from Shin-Shimizu Interchange on the Shin-Tomei Expressway.
Description: Minobu-san Kuon-ji Temple
|Sights||Minobu-san Kuon-ji Temple (身延山久遠寺)|
3567 Minobu, Minobu-cho, Minami-koma-gun, Yamanashi
|Phone / Fax||Phone: 0556-62-1011 / Fax: 0556-62-1094|
|Admission Fee||Free admission|
Spring (March - May)Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November)
|Recommended target||Family Couples Groups Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller|
Map: Minobu-san Kuon-ji Temple