New Destinations on the mountaintop of Higashiyama, Kyoto
Guide to “Seiryuden”, “Oobutai”, and “Shogunzuka”
In October 2014, we celebrated the completion of the great Goma hall “Seiryuden”on the mountaintop of Higashiyama, Kyoto.
Seiryuden is a large wooden structure—roughly half as wide as the temple housing the Nara Buddha—where the National Treasure “Ao Fudo” is worshipped. At Shorenin, Ao Fudo was enshrined in the anterior hall of Seiryuden for the first time, and visitors can pray through a highly accurate reproduction. Inside the building, on certain days, Goma (small pieces of wood to invoke divine help) burning takes place to pray for people’s requests.
A new wooden “Oobutai” (great stage) has been built along with Seiryuden. Now from the mountaintop of Higashiyama, you can stand above Kyoto and see all the way out to the outskirts of Osaka. Even on rainy days, there is much to see from above the clouds in this great hall in the sky. The sheer scale and the large panoramic view of the city is enough to cause visitors to exclaim with astonishment. By opening a map and gazing at Kyoto from high above, you can easily see the locations of tourist destinations, historic spots, hotels, and more to greatly boost your understanding of the city.
In addition, you can tour “Shogunzuka”, built by Emperor Kanmu when the capital was moved to Kyoto.
The garden next to Shogunzuka is a perfect place to ponder history, with beautiful Japanese maple and cherry blossom trees; rock gardens; and hand-planted pines from and monuments for Okuma Shigenobu, Admiral Togo, and General Kuroki.
Please come and visit Shogunzuka’s Seiryuden, a place where you can meet Ao Fudo, interact with the culture and spirit of Kyoto, and learn about history.
You can take a car, taxi, or city circuit bus (please check the traffic access information) to get to Seiryuden. Those in good shape can reach Shorenin’s main temple by foot in 30 to 40 minutes via the Higashiyama Trail Course (mountain path).