Daian-zenji Temple, Fukui

The family temple of Matsudaira Clan has lots to see!

By Takako Sakamoto    - 3 min read

I heard about Daian-zenji Temple just by chance. Now it's June and I wanted to see irises. I asked around and some of my friends recommended that I go to this temple. But they themselves had never been there before. They just heard about the Iris Festival there somewhere and just knew it as an information. So, I checked out the place myself on the Web and learned it wasn't that far. Just driving about 30 minutes northwestward from the city center and I'll be there.

Before visiting the place I checked it out more and learned about the history of the temple. This temple was built by the 4th lord of Fukui Han (domain), Matsudaira Mitsumichi, in 1658 as a family temple of Fukui Matsudaira Clan. The temple also serves as the mausoleum for the Fukui Matsudaira Clan and has the cemetery in the hills surrounding the temple which contains ten tombs of late-lords of Fukui Matsudaira family. This temple belongs to the Myoshinji Branch of the Rinzai School of Zen Buddhism and Zazen Sessions (Zen meditation) are available for visitors (reservation needed). Most of the temple buildings have remained the same as they were built in 1658 and five buildings were designated as important cultural properties in 2008. In this place, there was originally the gigantic temple complex, which had 48 temple buildings in the entire mountains, but they were burnt down to ashes by Oda Nobunaga in 1574, and 84 years later Daian-zenji Temple was built.

OK, it looks like this temple has an interesting history, some precious artifacts, and even the mausoleum of Fukui Matsudaira Clan, and it's not that far...and according to the map the place is HUGE! It must be a great place to explore!

So I went, and it exceeded my expectation! I wrote a series of articles about what I found in this lovely place as follows, I hope you'll enjoy learning about this temple with these stories.

1. Hydrangeas at Daian-Zenji Temple
2. Iris Festival at Daian-zenji Temple
3. Statues at Daian-zenji Temple
4. Beauty of Daian-zenji Temple, Fukui
5. Cemetery of Fukui Matsudaira Clan
6. Tomb of the poet, Tachibana Akemi

To get to the place, going by car is the best option, but if you are traveling and have no car, you can take a Keifuku Bus (bound for Kawanishi) at JR Fukui station and get off at Daianji Mon-mae bus stop (about 30 min.), and walk about 20 min. to reach there. Free parking is available and the entrance fee is 500 yen (adults).

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Takako Sakamoto

Takako Sakamoto @takako.sakamoto

I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.  

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