A temple steeped in Chinese influence
Manpukuji Temple is a secluded place in Kyoto’s Uji region at the base of Mt Obaku. Surrounded by beautiful pines, it was founded in 1661 by a Chinese monk named Yinyuan Longqi, known in Japanese as Ingen Ryuki. Built in the Ming Dynasty style, many of the structures here are built of teak, making the temple unusual in both respects.
Ingen and his successors brought new takes on art, calligraphy, diet, and medicine from the Asian continent
The temple has two vegetarian restaurants
How to Get There
From Kyoto Station, take the Nara Line to Obaku Station. The temple is a seven-minute walk from there.
A dragon-shaped complex
In 1661, Zen master Yinyuan Longqi founded the temple with his disciple Muyan. Manpukuji was constructed in the architectural style of the Ming Dynasty era in China. The way the temple buildings are arranged reflects this style as well, with the layout reminiscent of a dragon.
Muyan took control of the temple in 1664. It wasn’t until the fourteenth priest took over that Manpukuji was run by Japanese monks.
Chinese traditions abide
The temple is still particularly Chinese in style and enshrines sculptures made solely by Chinese artists. Traditional Chinese rituals are maintained, and the priests continue to recite musical sutras in the Bonbai, or Indian, style. Such elements make the atmosphere unique and markedly different from the Japanese-style temples found throughout Kyoto.
A wooden fish gong
One interesting and singular feature of the temple is its gyoban, a large flat wooden ornament shaped like a fish and struck like a gong to mark meal times and sutra recitations.
Manpukuji offers fucha ryori, or Chinese-style vegetarian meals. You’ll need to reserve at least three days in advance to try this meal, which is for a minimum of two people.
Manpukuji Temple is a fascinating place that showcases the fusion of Chinese and Japanese cultures. Founded by a Chinese monk in the 17th century, the temple is a testament to the influence of Chinese Buddhism on Japanese religious practices.
The temple is located in the Uji region of Kyoto, at the base of Mt Obaku. It is a secluded place, surrounded by beautiful pines that add to its serene atmosphere. The architecture of the temple is unique, as it is built in the Ming Dynasty style. This style is characterized by its use of teak, which gives the temple a distinct appearance.
One of the notable features of Manpukuji Temple is its dragon-shaped complex. The layout of the temple buildings is reminiscent of a dragon, a symbol of power and strength in Chinese culture. This reflects the Chinese influence on the temple’s design and architecture.
The temple was initially founded by Zen master Yinyuan Longqi and his disciple Muyan. Yinyuan Longqi was a Chinese monk who brought new ideas and practices from China to japan. The temple was constructed in the architectural style of the Ming Dynasty, which was popular in China during that time.
It wasn’t until the fourteenth priest took over that Manpukuji Temple was run by Japanese monks. However, the temple still retains its Chinese style and traditions. The sculptures enshrined in the temple are made solely by Chinese artists, and traditional Chinese rituals are still practiced by the priests. This sets Manpukuji Temple apart from other Japanese-style temples in Kyoto.
One of the unique features of Manpukuji Temple is its gyoban, a large flat wooden ornament shaped like a fish. The gyoban is struck like a gong to mark meal times and sutra recitations. This adds to the distinctive atmosphere of the temple and is a reflection of its Chinese influence.
In addition to its cultural and architectural significance, Manpukuji Temple also offers a unique dining experience. The temple has two vegetarian restaurants that serve fucha ryori, or Chinese-style vegetarian meals. To try this meal, you need to reserve at least three days in advance and it is for a minimum of two people. This is a great opportunity to taste the flavors of Chinese cuisine in a traditional temple setting.
To visit Manpukuji Temple, you can take the Nara Line from Kyoto Station to Obaku Station. From there, the temple is just a seven-minute walk away. The journey to the temple itself is a scenic one, as it is located in the beautiful Uji region of Kyoto.
Overall, Manpukuji Temple is a must-visit destination for those interested in exploring the cultural and architectural diversity of Kyoto. Its Chinese influence, unique design, and traditional practices make it a captivating and memorable place to visit. Whether you are interested in Buddhism, history, or simply want to experience a different side of Kyoto, Manpukuji Temple is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Address And Maps Location:
Sanbanwari-34 Gokasho, Uji-shi, Kyoto-fu