Suzumushidera Temple 妙徳山 華厳寺（鈴虫寺）
A temple where the songs of autumn last throughout the year
Founded in 1723, Myotokuzan-Kegonji Temple, better known by its nickname Suzumushidera Temple, is renowned for the natural ambient music created by its resident bell crickets.
- The views over Kyoto City from the temple grounds
- A visit in autumn, when the crickets are at their most lively
Crickets live for about 110 days, but sing only for about half of that
The temple's Jizo statue is unusual in that it wears sandals, so that it may personally deliver your wish to you
How to Get There
The temple is best reached by bus and then on foot.
Take the 28 bus from Kyoto Station to the Matsuo Taisha Bus Stop. It is a 15-minute walk to the temple from there.
How all the singing got started
Over thirty years ago, a priest named Shoei Katsura became enamored with the sound of crickets, believing that the insects exemplify Buddhist values. He brought some to the temple and eventually trained his insect friends to sing throughout the year.
Some cricket background
Male crickets sing for only about twenty days in autumn, in a sound much like running a finger along a comb. To the Japanese, the sound is like a tiny bell, hence the name bell cricket.
Some tea and information
During your visit, you'll receive a cup of green tea and a 30-minute sermon by the resident priest, made through a microphone because otherwise his words would be lost to the insects' hearty singing. These are mating calls, by the way.
The helpful Jizo
The Kofuku Jizo (Jizo of Happiness) here is famous for granting supplicants one wish. Since he reportedly visits those who come to Suzumushidera, be sure to tell him your address.