Kodenji Temple 高伝寺

Kodenji Temple
Kodenji Temple

The Zen temple where Yamamoto Tsunetomo wrote the Hagakure—The Way of the Samurai

Situated off a main road amid a small bamboo forest, around three kilometers southeast of center city, is the secluded Zen temple of Kodenji. It was here that Yamamoto Tsunetomo shaved his head, renounced his samurai status, and took up the austere practice of Zen.

It is also where he wrote the internationally famous book of samurai aphorisms, the Hagakure, known as “The Way of the Samurai.” It's a book that's been quoted in films and admired by many. Martial arts fans should stop by in respect.

Don't Miss

  • The "Christian Lantern," which is a 17th-century stone lantern engraved by the first Dominican friar allowed entry into the Saga Domain
  • The Reitoku Jubai plum tree, designated as a natural monument by Saga City
  • The great Nehanzo painting of Kodenji, shown to the public on April 19 and 20

How to Get There

From Saga Station, go to the bus center and take a bus to the Fukuroiriguchi stop. In total, it's around 10 minutes. From there, it's about 20 minutes by foot.

An faster alternative would be a taxi from Saga Station, which will take about 15 minutes.

A painting of Buddha reclining

If you happen to be there on April 19 or 20, you'll have the chance to view one of Japan's largest Nehanzo, or paintings of the famed reclining Buddha. The painting stands 16 meters high, six meters wide, and is over 300 years old. Other temple treasures are put out on display as well.

Near Kodenji Temple

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Saga-jinja Shrine History
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