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Rurikoji Temple and Its Famous Five-Storied Pagoda in Yamaguchi

Located in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Rurikoji Temple's five-storied pagoda ranks among one of Japan's three famous pagodas. It is the perfect place to enjoy Japanese history and admire the outstanding architecture.

2017.09.09

This five-storied pagoda and its beautiful architecture not only capture the hearts of Japanese people but also those who travel to Japan.

Did you know that there is something called the “Three Most Famous Pagodas of Japan”? These are considered to be the most spectacular tiered structures nationwide!

These pagodas are located at Daigoji Temple in Kyoto, Horyuji Temple in Nara and, lastly, Rurikoji Temple in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

This article will introduce the stunning five-storied pagoda at Rurikoji Temple, which is surrounded by several beautiful mountains and ponds.

The Five-Storied Pagoda

The Famous Five-Storied Pagoda Of Rurikoji Temple In Yamaguchi

Rurikoji Temple’s five-storied pagoda was built in 1442. Using architectural techniques from the mid-Muromachi Period (*1), it is hailed as a masterpiece of the Ouchi culture that flourished in Yamaguchi.

The roof made of cypress wood was built using a technique unique to Japan called "hiwadabuki." This technique gives the pagoda a massive appearance.

Additionally, the delicate body of the pagoda is clearly visible, which is one difference separating it from the pagodas at Daigoji and Horyuji Temple.

*1 The Muromachi Period lasted from 1338 to 1573. Muromachi is a place located in Kyoto Prefecture.

The Famous Five-Storied Pagoda Of Rurikoji Temple In Yamaguchi

Upon looking closer at the artworks, you’ll be captivated by their impressive quality and beautiful symmetry. Although the pagoda is only 31.2 meters tall, it appears much taller than it is.

Rurikoji Temple

The Famous Five-Storied Pagoda Of Rurikoji Temple In Yamaguchi
The Famous Five-Storied Pagoda Of Rurikoji Temple In Yamaguchi

Just beside the pagoda is the main hall of Rurikoji Temple. This building is also another representation of the Ouchi clan's culture.

The temple grounds are called Kozan Park. In the spring, cherry and plum blossoms bloom throughout the premises.

Mizukake Jizo (Water-Pouring Guardian)

The Famous Five-Storied Pagoda Of Rurikoji Temple In Yamaguchi

Also within the grounds is a Mizukake Jizo. It is customary for worshippers to pour water over these guardian statues in the hope their wishes will come true.

As an enlightened follower of Buddhism, the Jizo is believed to assist others reach paradise by finding peace in their lives.

The Famous Five-Storied Pagoda Of Rurikoji Temple In Yamaguchi

You'll notice that the ladles have words like “health” and “marriage” written on them. Choose the ladle with the wish you would like granted. Then scoop up some water, pour it onto the Jizo, and pray silently.

In Conclusion

The Famous Five-Storied Pagoda Of Rurikoji Temple In Yamaguchi

The five-storied pagoda is an architectural beauty showcasing artisanal skill and quality. This beauty is accentuated by the surrounding mountains and pond at your feet. Moreover, you will be left speechless when visiting it during the cherry blossom season in spring or the foliage in fall.

The pagoda is illuminated at night, which has an entirely different atmosphere than in the daytime.

If you want to see unique Japanese architecture in Yamaguchi, make your way to Rurikoji Temple’s five-storied pagoda!

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.