Rinkyu-ji Temple (林丘寺)

The Rinkyu-ji Temple is an independent temple of the Rinzai sect at Shugakuin, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City. Its sango (literally, "mountain name"), the title prefixed to the name of a Buddhist temple, is Mt. Seimei. Its honzon (principal image of Buddha) is Sho Kannon. It is near Naka no O-chaya (middle tea house) in the Shugakuin Imperial Villa. It is also called Otowa no gosho.

This temple originated from a mountain villa built around 1668 for the Imperial Princess Teruko AKENOMIYA, the eighth princess of Emperor Gomizunoo (her mother was Takako, the daughter of Takachika KUSHIGE). This building is the present Rakushiken of Naka no O-chaya in Shugakuin Imperial Villa.

In 1678 when Masako TOKUGAWA died, the taimen-jo (a meeting place where the relationship between master and servant is confirmed) and the tea room of her palace were moved and came to be used as a guest hall.

In 1680 when Retired Emperor Gomizunoo died, the Imperial Princess entered the priesthood and identified herself as Shozan Genyo, and she changed the villa into the Rinkyu-ji Temple. After that, since some Imperial princesses entered the temple, it became ama-monzeki (a temple whose superior has always been a woman born of the Imperial Family or of nobility) and was also given a lot of Jiryo (temple estate). It declined in the early Meiji period and a male priest temporarily entered from the Tenryu-ji Temple, but later about the half of the temple estate was returned to the Imperial Family and included in the Shugakuin Imperial Villa in 1884, the temple had become ama-monzeki again.

The precincts of a temple

There was a Shoin (reception room), a Hondo (main hall), Kaisan-do Hall (temple where the statue of founder priest is placed) and Higaki Tower as well as a Chisen garden (Japanese style garden with a central pond and spring) during the Edo period. The Rakushiken (name of a building) and the guest hall of Naka no O-chaya in the neighboring Shugakuin Imperial Villa was a part of the Rinkyu-ji Temple.

The cultural properties
Important Cultural Property
The Rinkyu-ji Temple Otekagami (a collection of calligraphy, imperial correspondence, and other works) inked on paper.

Hayashino-waki, Shugakuin, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
Twenty minutes walk from the Shugakuin Rikyu michi bus stop of the Kyoto City Bus (however, it is closed to the public).

[Original Japanese]