Located at Minamiashigara, Kanagawa Prefecture
Address: 1157 Daiyucho, Minamiashigara, Kanagawa 250-0127
“All seasons at Saijoji are lovely, but 10,000 hydrangea bushes lining the road to the temple make June especially lovely. The autumn colors are equally impressive.”
Known for Point of Interest, Early Birds, Peace & Quiet, Stunning Views, Iconic Scenes, Secret Spots, Groups, Families, Touristy
Saijoji or Daiyuzan Temple deserves to be more famous than it is. My very own brother felt “it was the best temple in Japan,” and he has been to Nikko and seen the temples there. What makes Saijoji different? Apart from the fact that my very own father in law did much of the beautiful roof work on the temples, Saijoji is very big and the setting is fantastic. Nestled in an old growth forest, far from the hubbub of the city, you can truly get in touch with nature, in touch with yourself and perhaps even in touch with God. Be sure to take a camera! There are over 30 halls and temple buildings to see, plus the surrounding nature can`t be beat!
“Saijoji, located in southern Kanagawa Prefecture, is an amazing temple that even most Japanese have never heard of. The temple was founded in 1394 by Ryoan Emyo Zenji, former head priest of Sojiji, one of the two head temples of the Soto Zen Buddhism Sect.”
– Sandra Isaka, Travel Writer
You can have lunch of soba or udon at the restaurant on the way to the temple, and at other restaurants near the parking lot of the temple. Cheap, healthy and good!
By train (from Shinjuku):
Take the Odakyu Odawara Line (Rapid Train) to Odawara Station. From there, transfer to the Izu Hakone Tetsudo Daiyuzan Line and get off at Daiyuzan Station. The bus station is right next to the train station. Take the bus heading to Daiyuzan Saijōji and get off at Daiyuzan Saijōji Temple. Travel time is approximately two and a half hours.
By car: Take the Tomei Expressway and exit at Ōi-Matsuda.
If you come in June, be sure to visit the next town to Minamiashigarashi, Kaisei Town, and go to the Ajisai Matsuri (hydrangea festival). Beautiful!