A mountain temple, located along the gorge is colored with 3,000 maple trees in Autumn.
Eigen-ji (永源寺) is located along the gorge of the Echi-gawa river in Shiga. Originally It was built in 1361 as one of the main temples of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism by the lord of Omi province. Since ancient times, the place has been well known as a beautiful spot for autumn foliage. About 3000 maple trees nurtured by the pure waters of the Echi-gawa River turn vivid red in November. It’s outstandingly beautiful. Also the temple has many kinds of trees, you can enjoy through the year.
You can take a pleasant walk while enjoying a beautiful mountain scenery.
The approach leads you to this mountain temple along the gorge of the Echi-gawa river. And 120 stone steps called “rakan-zaka” is on the way along with stone statues. You can probably notice a very unique Jizo (guardian deity of children) statue with eyeglasses. This adorable bespectacled Jizo is a rare sight in Japan.
The thatched roof of Ohojo-in, the main hall is made from wild straw collected from the banks of Lake Biwa. “Yotsugi Kannon”, the deity of posterity is enshrined here. Impressive Sanmon Gate, built in 1802 by the local feudal lord is registered as an official important cultural property.
The monks here used the sound of the pure waters flowing in the gorge into their Zen training. In the temple’s grounds you can find “Senjisui” water, which people use to wash the dirt of the earthly world from their ears before heading to the temple.
The whole mountain of Eigen-ji Temple is illuminated in November.
It creates a magical atmosphere when the whole mountain of Eigen-ji Temple is illuminated in November. Visitors can see even more beautiful autumn leaves at night, when around 3,000 trees color the mountain in bright red, orange and yellow.
Access : Take the Omi Bus from Yokkaichi station on the Omi Railway Yokaichi Line to Eigenji Mae bus stop, then 15-minute walk from there.
Hours : 9:00 to 16:00 (Autumn color season 8:00 to 17:00、illumination 17:00 to 20:30 )
Admission : 500 yen