Beyond the gate of Gumyo-ji Temple with a large plaque and a lantern, a stairway leading to the main hall stretched out

The gate, the plaque and the lantern of Gumyo-ji Temple
The gate, the plaque and the lantern of Gumyo-ji Temple
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Although it appears to be very close to the nearest station platform, one had to go around the grounds to enter the temple. Although the Gumyo-ji Temple in Yokohama stands right in front of the Keihin Kyuko Line's Gumyo-ji Station, the entrance is not located near the station.

I walked down the Gumyoji-saka slope looking for the temple gate, and ended up going down the slope without finding it. Instead, at the bottom of the slope was a magnificent gate that was unmistakable. This was the main gate of the temple.

Gumyo-ji Temple is an old temple founded in 737. The wooden gate, which was reconstructed in the Edo period (1603-1867), is indeed a very elegant structure, and the Nio statue standing inside it looks quite contented. However, as one climbs the stairs beyond the gate, the temple's old-world charm begins to fade. It seems as if the temple is trying very hard to make effective use of its small site.

In most cases, temples with long histories have large premises. It might even be said that they are too large. Therefore, even if there are many facilities and halls within the precincts of a temple, it does not feel cramped. However, in Gumyo-ji Temple, the Jizo Bosatsu (bodhisattva) sits in a small space next to the stairs on the approach to the temple, and the Daishi Hall stands right at the top of the stairs, making the temple compound seem cramped.

This is due in part to the movement to abolish Buddhism. The temple was also severely suppressed during the movement to abolish Buddhism that occurred after the Meiji Restoration, and most of its vast precincts were confiscated by the new government. As a result, only 20% of the temple's former land remains. This is the main reason for the temple's cramped appearance despite its antiquity.

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Shooting Date

Feb 2022

Posted On

April 9, 2022

Modified On

April 10, 2022


Yokohama, Kanagawa


Architectural Photography





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