How We Spent the Day in Shomyoji Temple

Shomyoji Temple

Who would have known that in the big city of Yokohama lies a quiet and beautiful Buddhist temple. Built in the 13th century, the Shomyoji Temple is hidden in a subdivision. You’d never imagine that a cultural gem is tucked away in this place until you see the huge gate and red bridge inside. There’s actually a documentary called Shomyoji-Ezu that shows what Shomyoji Temple looked like 700 years ago and it looks exactly the same as what you see if you visit today!

There were only a few people visiting the area when we went there; most of them were elderly couples with their grandchildren, or elderly women in their 70s who looked downright badass with their professional cameras and tripods waiting for the golden hour.

Fumikura Restaurant near Shomyoji Temple

We ate at a nice soba and udon restaurant called Fumikura before heading out to explore the temple. My husband had their soba noodles with vegetables, while I had Tensoba or Tempura Soba. It was delicious!

The last time we had really good soba was in Hida Takayama; when I asked my husband which he liked better, he said that he really liked the soba here at Fumikura! I would recommend this place because they had excellent soba noodles, as well as staff that speaks very good English. It is easy enough to find as the restaurant is situated along the street, near the entrance of the temple.

Nio-Mon or Nio Gate

The street by the temple has a huge, old gate which is filled with blooming cherry blossom trees in the Spring. There are a pair of large statues of Nio by the gate; there were similar statues at Enoshima Island but those were painted red. I’ve noticed that these muscular Nio statues always come in a pair and appear to be very angry.

Shomyoji Temple

Jodo-style garden with arched and flat bridges over the pond
Jodo-style garden with arched and flat bridges over the pond.
Kondo
Kondo or the main building. It houses the Miroku-Bosatsu-Ryuzo statue, so take a peek inside.

Shomyoji Temple

Shomyoji Temple

Shomyoji Temple

The garden was designed to represent the pure land or Buddhist Paradise in the real world. It is said that the arched and flat bridges over the pond connect this world to the future and Buddha’s world. *Texts from the brochure.

Shomyoji Temple

Shomyoji Temple

Shomyoji Temple

Shomyoji Temple

And of course, my husband took several photos of me before leaving this peaceful place.

Shomyoji Temple

Getting There

You can access Shomyoji Temple from Kanazawa Bunko Station for a 12-minute walk or Uminokoen-shibaguchi Station for a 10-minute walk. No entrance fee. No parking available so please travel here by train.

Will you go to this place too?