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Autumn Leaves in the Floor of Houtokuji Temple: Video Introduction

This video, titled "Houtokuji Temple "Peaceful days, and Supreme Happiness" A Tour of the Main Hall Precincts" (宝徳寺「日々平穏、これに勝る幸せなし」本堂境内案内), was uploaded by "Houtokuji Temple Official Channel" (宝徳寺Houtokuji公式チャンネル).
In the video, you can enjoy the precincts of the temple, beautiful maple trees in different seasons, an aerial view of the Japanese dry rock garden, and the lovely and smiling Jizo statues. Be sure to check it out.

Peonies, Green Foliage, and Illuminated Autumn Leaves - The Seasonal Beauty of Houtokuji Temple

Image of wind chimes at Houtokuji Temple
Photo:Wind chimes at Houtokuji Temple

Houtokuji Temple is a temple of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism located in Kiryu, Gunma, in Japan's Kanto region, where there is plenty of natural scenic beauty. It was founded during Japan's Muromachi period by Lord Kiryu-Sano Masatsuna, a feudal lord of Kiryu.

More than 500 peonies are planted on the temple grounds, and visitors can enjoy lovely scenery in spring. You can see lush green maples reflecting off the mirror-like floor. The collaboration of colorful fresh green foliage and peonies is one of the highlights of the temple.

In addition, a Wind Chime Festival (風鈴まつり) is held at the temple during summer, where visitors write their wishes on strips of paper attached to wind chimes and walk through a tunnel of approximately 3,000 wind chimes to pray for happiness.

The main attraction of the temple is the reflection of the autumn leaves on the floor. While there are several spots in Kyoto where you can see maple leaves like this, it's a rare opportunity in Japan's Kanto region.

In autumn, around mid-November each year, more than 100 maple trees on the temple grounds are lit up, creating a beautifully divine atmosphere. The temple offers a wide variety of colorful expressions.

Unique Shuin Stamps at Houtokuji Temple

In addition to standard shuin stamps, Houtokuji offers a unique variety of shuin stamp that changes monthly. This unique shuin stamp has a different design each month, and is popular for its seasonal illustrations and designs. If you're a collector, be sure to check these out. In addition, there are also shuin stamps of the amabie, a deity that prays for the end of the novel coronavirus.

In addition, original shuin stamp booklets are available for limited periods, and designs with cute Jizo and dragons are also available.

Other Highlights of Houtokuji Temple

Image of the dry landscape garden at Houtokuji Temple
Photo:The dry landscape garden at Houtokuji Temple

The main hall of Houtokuji Temple is called Souryu-den, and three bodhisattvas, including a statue of the Gautama Buddha, are enshrined in it. On either side of the main hall are ink wash paintings of dragons, the Four Heavenly Kings of Buddhism, sea dragons, and cloud dragons, flanking the main image. It's a must-see for dragon lovers! There are also tenugui hand towels with twin dragons.

There is also a Japanese dry rock garden at Houtokuji Temple. The video shows an aerial view of the garden.
[Video] 1:20 - Japanese Dry Rock Garden

The path of calm Jizo statues within the precincts of Houtokuji Temple is lined with various types of Jizo statues, all of which will bring a smile to your face.
[Video] 5:17 - Jizo Statues

Access & Area Information

[Access by Train]
・Nearest station: Aioi Station or Akagi Station
By taxi: 15 minutes
By bus: Take the bus bound for Fukiage and get off at Houtokuji Temple (宝徳寺入口, Houtokuji Iriguchi). 20-25 minutes
※The Tobu Limited Express Ryomou from Asakusa Station to Akagi Station takes less than 2 hours, so it's possible to make a day trip from Tokyo.

[Access by Car]
・Approximately 30 minutes from the Ota-Kiryu IC or Isesaki IC
There are two parking lots at Houtokuji Temple.

Summary of Houtokuji Temple - A Temple Where Autumn Leaves Are Reflected on the Floor

Image of autumn colors at Houtokuji Temple
Photo:Autumn colors at Houtokuji Temple

Located in Kiryu, Gunma, Houtokuji Temple is a historic temple where visitors can enjoy the changing scenery of Japan's four seasons. One of the reasons for its popularity is that early morning zazen (zen meditation) sessions are held free of charge on the first Sunday of every month. Participating could be an opportunity to get away from daily life and do some self-reflection in a quiet environment.
There is also a large bell in the bell tower, and a New Year's Eve bell ringing ceremony is held on New Year's Eve.

The area around Houtokuji Temple is also worth visiting for the spectacular views from Akagi Shrine and Mt. Akagi.

When you go sightseeing in Gunma, consider stopping by Houtokuji Temple to see the verdant green maple leaves in spring and the colorful autumn leaves in fall. It's a great place to take Instagram photos as well!

【TripAdvisor】Houtokuji Temple

Written By
Last Updated : Sep. 16, 2022
岡本 修(Shu Okamoto)
A writer fascinated by Japanese architecture. I'll introduce you to buildings and food in Japan!
Houtokuji Temple - Discover the Beautiful Autumn Leaves at This Temple in Kiryu, Gunma!
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