Jotenji Temple: Visit This Traditional Zen Temple

Jotenji temple, originally founded in 1241, is a beautiful Zen temple located near a busy area of Hakata.

Fukuoka Jotenji avenue, before Jotenji Zen temple

 

Escaping Hakata’s Crowded Streets

One of Fukuoka city’s most crowded areas, Hakata has the biggest station and business district. However, among all this stands a quiet Zen temple where you can enjoy some peace and tranquility while appreciating one of Fukuoka City’s traditional sights.

Fukuoka Jotenji avenue, before Jotenji Zen temple

 

Step Back in Time: The Sights of Jotenji Temple

The Zen temple is preceded by Jotenji avenue, around a 10-minute walk from Hakata Station. One portion includes the Hakata Sennenmon – the Thousand Year Gate. This was built in 2014 and designed like the original gate into Hakata as seen in ancient documents. Made of wood, it stands at eight metres high and wide. Standing out against the backdrop of flats and offices, this gate marks the entrance to the beautiful avenue preceding Jotenji temple. The road is a symbol of hope for Hakata’s future prosperity.

Fukuoka Jotenji Zen temple gate

Coming from the nearby busier areas, turning into this avenue makes you feel like stepping back through time. Before you even enter the temple grounds, you can enjoy the traditional design of the avenue which has a completely different atmosphere contrasting the surrounding area.

The Jotenji temple grounds feature a Buddhist stone garden (or “Zen garden”). Not usually open to the public, this Zen garden can be seen from the opposite garden or avenue outside. The garden opposite has beautiful trees and water features. It is a lovely, serene spot for a walk around the traditional side of Fukuoka. The famous Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival is also said to have been founded here.

Fukuoka Jotenji Zen temple, Zen rock garden

Another garden feature are the monuments to the introduction of some foods to Japan. The Jotenji temple founder, Enni-Ben’en, introduced some now very popular foods from China. These monuments commemorate the introduction of manju (dumplings), yokan (a sweet bean paste) along with the noodles udon and soba. The stone monuments are located at the left of the main garden’s entrance.

Fukuoka Jotenji Zen temple, Zen rock garden

 

Events at Jotenji Temple

Around mid-November, Jotenji and other Fukuoka temples and shrines host a light-up event. For a few nights the Jotenji temple grounds, including the Zen garden, are beautifully lit. This event has been running since 2005, while in 2017 it was held from November 1-5. Tickets cost 1,000 yen if purchased beforehand (they can be bought at tourist information centers) or 1,500 yen on the day.

To experience a part of Fukuoka history and tradition, stop by Jotenji temple and enjoy a peaceful walk around the gardens! This peaceful Zen temple is only a five-minute walk from Gion Station.

Fukuoka Jotenji Zen temple, garden

    
NameJotenji
CategoryTemple
Address1 Chome-29-9 Hakata Ekimae, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
Access[map]1 Chome-29-9 Hakata Ekimae, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture[/map]
Opening HoursUnspecified
Price RangeFree
Payment options
Lauren Lewis

Lauren Lewis

I'm from the UK and I've lived in Kyushu since 2011, four years in Saga and now in Fukuoka City. I love living here and look forward to sharing some of what it has to offer!

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