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Zuiryu-ji Temple

A Soto Zen Buddhist temple located in Takaoka, known for its breathtakingly beautiful surroundings.

By Abhijit Sen

Zuiryu-ji is an exquisite temple in Toyama Prefecture that holds immense historical significance and is a national treasure of Japan. This temple is a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to Takaoka.

The temple’s stunning architecture, vast and well-maintained grounds, and a grand Buddha statue are the main highlights of this place. The layout of the buildings exudes a sense of balance and harmony, which you can take your time to explore leisurely as you make your way through the temple complex.

Every nook and corner of Zuiryu-ji is steeped in history, one should include this rich cultural heritage in their travel itinerary.

Edo Architecture at its Finest

Zuiryu-ji Temple

Photo by: PIXTA/髙橋義雄 An architectural feat.

Zuiryuji is an impressive temple that serves as a tribute to the Kaga Maeda family’s rich legacy. It was constructed by Toshitsune Maeda, the family’s third-generation leader, in honor of Toshinaga Maeda, the founder of Takaoka and the second head of the family.

The temple, belonging to the Soto sect, covers a vast area of 36,000 square meters. During the old days, a moat surrounded it, giving it a fortress-like appearance. The temple’s main gate, zendo (meditation hall), oguri and kairo (covered walkways), daisado (lecture hall) and large tea hall are now considered important cultural properties of Japan. They showcase the architectural style of the Edo period, which emphasizes simplicity and harmony with nature. These buildings serve as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Japan and continue to be admired by visitors from around the world.

Story of an Unknown Deity

Photo by: PIXTA/ bee

A unique deity worshipped at the temple is Ususama Myo-o. This deity is known as the god of toilets and has been historically linked with the purification of the body and soul, promoting good health, well-being and fertility. The National Treasure Buddha Hall enshrines Shakyamuni Buddha with Manjushri Bodhisattva and Fugen Bodhisattva as side attendants.

The entrance to the temple precinct is through two large gates. The sanmon (gate) houses two fierce nio (guardian statues). The temple’s courtyards, paved with pebbles, exude the essence of zen design and inspire a sense of tranquility.

Zuiryuji is an exceptional destination that offers a glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage and is a must-visit for anyone planning a trip to the Hokuriku area.

Things To Know


The temple is open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

To enter, it costs ¥500 for adults, ¥200 for high school students and junior high school students and ¥100 for elementary school students.

How To Get There


By train

From Toyama station take the local Takaoka line train to Takaoka station. About 20 minutes. 

By foot

Zuiryuji Temple is in central Takaoka City, a 15-minute walk from the Takaoka station.

Where To Stay

Takaoka Manten Hotel Ekimae (Manten Hotel Chain)
  • 1-8 Suehiromachi, Takaoka-shi, Toyama, 933-0023 Japan
  • ¥6,000 - ¥19,100
  • 4.06/5 (2,524 reviews)
  • 1.8 km
APA Hotel <Takaoka Ekimae> (Non-Smoking)
  • 6-20 Shimozekimachi, Takaoka-shi, Toyama, 933-0021 Japan
  • ¥7,100 - ¥28,200
  • 2.0 km
Hotel Route-Inn Takaoka Ekimae
  • 4-63 Shimozekimachi, Takaoka-shi, Toyama, 933-0021 Japan
  • ¥6,800 - ¥21,600
  • 4.1/5 (483 reviews)
  • 2.0 km
Hotel New Otani Takaoka
  • 1 Shinyokomachi, Takaoka-shi, Toyama, 933-0035 Japan
  • ¥7,200 - ¥92,720
  • 4.32/5 (1,562 reviews)
  • 2.1 km
Daibutsu Ryokan (Takaoka)
  • 1276 Daibutsumachi, Takaoka-shi, Toyama, 933-0034 Japan
  • ¥5,100 - ¥5,600
  • 4.63/5 (152 reviews)
  • 2.2 km

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