Hidden within the vast city of Yokohama is a quiet Buddhist temple with a rich history. In the early 13th century, a man named Hojo Sanetoki built a Buddha statue hall, then expanded it into a temple in 1267. Back in Japan's Middle Ages, it also served as a school for Buddhist teachings. Many of the materials used in the study of these teachings can be found in the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum.
Today, Shomyoji Temple attracts many tourists, especially those looking for a peaceful stroll. The gardens surrounding the temple are good for taking a hike while enjoying the view of the place. Children will also enjoy being able to run around freely. Aside from that, the place is perfect for photographers, especially in the spring, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
Entering the temple is free, but the Kanazawa Bunko, the private library/museum beside the temple, has a 250-yen entrance fee. This museum houses a wide collection of arts, crafts, and books on Buddhist teachings that have been gathered by Sanetoki and his descendants through the years.
Getting to Shomyoji Temple
You can get to Shomyoji Temple by taking the Keikyu Line train and getting off at Kanazawa Bunko station. From there, the temple is a 15-minute walk away. Similarly, you can take the Kanazawa Seaside Line train and get off at Uminokoen-Shibaguchi station. It will also take a 15-minute walk to get to the temple.
You can take a bus bound for Shibamachi and get off at Shomyoji. The temple is just a short walk away from the bus stop. Note that there are no parking spaces available, so make sure to take public transport.
Shomyoji Temple is the perfect place for the young and the elderly alike to spend a quiet day with the family. It's definitely worth a visit the next time you find yourself in Yokohama.