Shinpukuji Tempe

Shinpuku-ji Temple, Aichi Prefecture’s oldest temple

The bus sped into the town outskirts of Okazaki, past villages and fields and into the forested steads of Shinpukujicho. The air is fresh and crisp, the sound of waving bamboo, tall and slender, swaying with the winds with its leaves rustling. It reminded me of the elegant stands at Arashiyama but smaller. Shinpuku-ji Temple grounds. Forested. Close to nature and beautiful.

It was in the year 594 when Mononobe no Masachi saw a shining light at the top of a mountain. When he climbed up, he found a shining spring where the Yakushi Nyorai (the Medicine Buddha) appeared. It was this divine encounter that prompted him to build the current Shinpuku-ji Temple and for the past 1,400 years, Shinpuku-ji Temple has been an important pilgrimage area for people seeking good health and recovery from eye disease.

Shinpuku-ji Temple is also known as the Mikawa Yakushi, known for its sacred waters that Mononobe no Masachi found. From that spring, a well was made and is currently housed within the octagonal enclosure found at the main temple hall where a shinto priest bless visitors. It is the oldest temple in Aichi Prefecture. Other than its beautiful grounds, the temple area is also popular for its bonsai museum and its restaurant.

Bamboo shoots

The popular restaurant, a modern building is located at another part of the Shinpuku-ji grounds and connected with an elevated walkway that is at level with the main temple. It is known for its bamboo shoot set menu, a kaiseki, small dishes consisting of pickled, steamed, boiled and breaded bamboo shoot, tofu and other vegetables. Although, not for everyone, as what I have observed from some members of our group, the bamboo shoot set menu is actually interesting both in taste and in texture. Even the dessert is a skewer of steamed pieces of bamboo shoots with a dab of sweet coating.

Shinpuku-ji Tempe

One of the beautiful wooden shrines along the walkpath

Shinpuku-ji Tempe

An interesting shrine near the main temple

Shinpuku-ji Tempe

This is the altar at the back of the altar hall of the main temple and is said to be the oldest section

Shinpuku-ji Tempe

A pantheon of gods at the main altar hall

Shinpuku-ji Tempe

A shinto priest blesses our group of visitors

Shinpuku-ji Tempe

I just love the look and feel of the side of the main temple

Shinpuku-ji Tempe

Ascending stairs leading to the main temple of Shinpuku-ji

Shinpuku-ji Tempe

Bamboo shoot skewers, one of the items in a vegetarian kaiseki set mainly consisting of tempura, steamed, boiled and pickled vegetables

Shinpuku-ji Temple
Yakushiyama-6 Shinpukujicho
Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture 444-2106, Japan
http://www.shinpukuji.com/ (Japanese only)

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

2 Comments

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    January 28, 2017 @ 11:42

    Its the oldest temple in Aichi known for its healing waters & bamboo shoot set menu #aichinowsp #japan #aichi… https://t.co/zZAd8B22UK

  2. Agness of eTramping
    March 25, 2017 @ 21:07

    So colourful, Estan! This seems like a breathtaking temple!

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