Sokujo-in Temple

Goshuin-cho which you can spend many of times in the Land of Happiness.


Text : Rumiko Kunitomi / Photo : Takuya Oshima


  When you walk toward east on Nyusenji-michi from Higashioji-dori, there is Sokujo-in Temple in front of the temple gate of Senyu-ji Temple. The gate has a hanging banner written, ‘Gokuraku-jodo (the Land of Happiness)’ and ‘Negaiga-matoe (if you wish something, shoot at a target)’.

  The principal image of Buddha was made in the late Heian period and since they monks have played for the Land of Happiness more than 1,000 years. Once you step inside of a sanctum of a temple called ‘Gense Gokuraku-jodo’, it is a special space that you can hear ‘sho (a traditional Japanese wind instrument resembling panpipes)’ in the dignified and quiet atmosphere with a line of ‘Raigo Nijugo Bosatsu (Twenty-five buddhist saints)’ which take us to the Land of Happiness and Amidanyorai which was believed in by Yoichi Nasu who is on Tale of the Heike. This is the place you exactly feel a power and a comfort as if you were in the Land of Happiness. Now, here is Gasho Hirano, a chief monk, who told us the story of the connection between Buddha and us.

  There are a number of fans and they demanded Goshuin-cho (a stamp note) before, but he wasn’t interested in making a usual one at all. He finally completed special one that cannot be compared with any other notes. On the front side, there are letters of Sanskrit characters ‘Sukhavati’ meaning of ‘Gokuraku (happiness)’ and also premium numbers from 1 to 100. Moreover, there are two passes mounted in the front and back side of a note saying ‘present life’ and ‘afterlife’ in order to have you spend lots of happy time in this world and also the same in afterlife as well. If you have this Goshuin-cho, you can go inside of a sanctum of the temple and pray whenever you would like to in order to answer the expectation of fans. In addition, you can also participate in Gokuraku-kyo Bridge passing as a special prayer in their Hoyo memorial service. No wonder, this is the proof that you can absolutely have a deep connection with the temple for sure.

  They also prepare several different special designs stamps such as, ‘Gokurakuno-mai’ a limited edition of Oneri hoyo memorial service in October, ‘Gokuraku-jodo’ a limited edition of November, and ‘Fukurokuju’ a limited version of Shichifukujin meguri (visiting seven wealthy gods) in January. 

  We asked Mr.Hirano about the relation between a mark and the letters inside and he said, “Letters inside of the mark are Sanskrit characters called ‘hriiH’ and it means ‘Amitabha’. It means that Buddha appears in front of you whenever you open it and it is very much sacred action and needs to be appreciated a lot”. 

  Goshuin stamp might express to tell people that the letters includes sacred meanings in ancient time. Why don’t we have Goshuin stamps again and again everywhere around in order to feel Buddha close to us and spend many of times in the land of happiness.



ADDRESS : 28 Yamanouchi-cho Senyuji, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City (MAP)

PHONE : +81(0)75-561-3443

HOURS : 9:00 a.m. ~ 5:00 p.m.

CHARGE : free (a sanctum of a temple : 500 yen)




★This is the end of TRAVEL IDEA ‘Goshuin and Sho - to explore the beauty of a Japanese characters by Rumiko Kunitomi. Please take a look at the other TRAVEL IDEA as well.