A temple where the songs of autumn last throughout the year
Suzumushidera Temple, also known as Myotokuzan-Kegonji Temple, is a temple located in Kyoto, japan. Founded in 1723, this temple is famous for the natural ambient music created by its resident bell crickets. The temple offers a unique experience to its visitors, especially during the autumn season when the crickets are at their most lively. The temple provides stunning views over Kyoto City from its grounds, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and those seeking tranquility.
To reach Suzumushidera Temple, the best way is to take the 28 bus from Kyoto Station to the Matsuo Taisha Bus Stop. From there, it is just a 15-minute walk to the temple. The journey itself is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of Kyoto and its surroundings.
The story of how the singing crickets became a part of Suzumushidera Temple dates back over thirty years ago. A priest named Shoen Katsura became enchanted by the sound of crickets and believed that these insects exemplify Buddhist values. He brought some crickets to the temple and dedicated his time to training them to sing throughout the year. Since then, the temple has become renowned for its resident bell crickets and their melodic tunes.
Male crickets have a relatively short lifespan of about 110 days, but they only sing for about half of that time. Their songs, which resemble the sound of running a finger along a comb, are considered to be a delicate and enchanting melody by the Japanese. This is why they are often referred to as bell crickets, as their sound is reminiscent of a tiny bell ringing in the distance.
During your visit to Suzumushidera Temple, you will be greeted with a cup of green tea and a 30-minute sermon by the resident priest. The sermon is delivered through a microphone as the priest’s words would otherwise be drowned out by the hearty singing of the crickets. It is during this time that you can learn more about the temple’s history, Buddhist teachings, and the significance of the bell crickets in Japanese culture.
One of the highlights of Suzumushidera Temple is the Kofuku Jizo, also known as the Jizo of Happiness. This statue is believed to grant supplicants one wish, and it is said that the Jizo personally visits those who come to Suzumushidera Temple. Visitors are encouraged to share their wishes with the Jizo, and it is recommended to include your address so that the Jizo can find you and deliver your wish to your doorstep.
The temple grounds offer a serene and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for meditation and reflection. The surrounding nature adds to the overall beauty of the temple, creating a harmonious blend of man-made and natural elements. The autumn season, in particular, is a magical time to visit, as the vibrant colors of the leaves complement the melodic songs of the crickets, creating a symphony of nature.
Suzumushidera Temple is not only a place of worship but also a cultural and historical landmark in Kyoto. It provides a glimpse into the rich traditions and beliefs of the Japanese people. The temple’s Jizo statue, wearing sandals to personally deliver wishes, is a testament to the deep-rooted spirituality and the connection between humans and nature in Japanese culture.
As with many places around the world, it is important to note that the information on this page may be subject to change due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is advisable to check the latest updates and guidelines before planning your visit to Suzumushidera Temple.
In conclusion, Suzumushidera Temple is a hidden gem in Kyoto, offering a unique and enchanting experience to its visitors. The songs of the bell crickets, combined with the serene surroundings and the temple’s rich history, create an atmosphere of tranquility and peace. Whether you are seeking spiritual enlightenment or simply wish to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, a visit to Suzumushidera Temple is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Address And Maps Location:
31 Matsumurojike-cho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu