Eigenji Temple is the head temple of the Eigenji branch and one of the fifteen primary temples of the Rinzai and Obaku sects. With 127 affiliated temples nationwide, it serves as a venerable center for Zen meditation and prayers for Japan's national peace and safety.
Its history traces back to the first year of the Koan era (1361) during the Nanboku-cho period. Sasaki Rokkaku Ujiyori, the guardian of Omi Province, established the monastery by donating the scenic Raikei, or Thunder Gorge, area to the Zen master Jakushitsu Genko. Known for being a devout monk who trained at Mount Koya, Ujiyori named the monastery "Eigen-ji," a combination of Setsue Souei, his Buddhist name, and Sasaki Gen, his father's name.
The mountain's name was changed from "Hankoyama" to "Zuisekizan," or Sacred Stone Mountain, in light of the miraculous events involving stones during the temple's construction. Legends speak of colossal foundation stones moving with minimal effort and the apparition of the grand deity, Kannon Bodhisattva, atop a large rock.
Upon the Zen master's arrival and foundation of the temple, around 2,000 monks and laypeople gathered. It's said that the temple once housed 56 sub-temples within its compounds.
|41 Eigenji Takano-cho, Higashiomi, Shiga 527-0212
20 minutes from Meishin Expressway's Yokaichi I.C.
40 minutes from Tokai-Kanjo Expressway's Otsu I.C.
60 minutes from Higashi-Meihan Expressway's Kuwana I.C.
JR Tokaido Main Line
Transfer to the Omi Railway from either Omihachiman Station or Hikone Station.
Ohmi Railway Yokaichi Line
Alight at Yokaichi Station, then take the bus bound for Eigenji Temple.
Omi Railway Bus, Misono Line
35 minutes from Yokaichi Station, alight at Eigenji-mae.
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