Japan Hiroshima Higashi

Kokuzenji Temple

A sanctuary with a rich past and cultural treasures

Photo of Kokuzenji Temple, Japan (國前寺、山門 by Taisyo)

Originally established in the Kamakura period, Kokuzenji Temple is a significant historical and cultural site in Hiroshima, Japan. The temple, founded by the hermit Gyonin, showcases Japan’s historical resilience, housing one of the country’s largest wooden statues within its Great Hall.

About Kokuzenji Temple

Kokuzenji, also known as Kokuzenji Daisodo, offers a glimpse into centuries of Japanese history. Founded as Gyojinji in 1340 by the hermit Gyonin, the temple became closely associated with the powerful Asano clan in 1656. Renamed Kokuzenji, it became a branch temple for this influential daimyo family. The temple’s affiliation with the Nichiren sect underscores its religious significance. Its architecture includes a main hall constructed in 1671 and the Kuri, which are notable for their design.

Throughout its history, Kokuzenji has witnessed support and challenges. It prospered under Mitsu’s sponsorship, and various structures were built or rebuilt by her husband, Asano Mitsumasa. The temple faced hardships when it lost its lands during the repression of the Fusessha sect in 1692, leading to a shift in patronage. Despite sustaining damage during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, it served as an emergency aid station in the aftermath.

The temple underwent restoration, with significant repairs to the Kuri from 1988 to 1991 and the main hall from 2001 to 2006. The current chief priest, Hikida Nichiryo, also known as Eishin, is the 39th in a long lineage of spiritual guidance. Visitors can enjoy the temple’s garden, meditate, and witness Buddhist ceremonies in a peaceful setting.

Kokuzenji houses a rare wooden statue of Dainichi Nyorai and other cultural artefacts. The Sanmon gate and the bell tower, reconstructed in 1906, add to the site’s historical depth. The temple’s main hall and Kuri are designated as national Important Cultural Properties.

The Futabanosata Historical Walking Trail features Kokuzenji as a key stop, offering insights into Hiroshima’s history. Visitors should not miss the chance to admire the temple’s architecture and artefacts that reflect faith and artistry over the years.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Kokuzenji Temple


JR Hiroshima
 Hiroden Route 1 + 5 more

 10-20 minute walk (0.9km)

 Hiroden Route 2 + 3 more

 10-20 minute walk (1.2km)

 Hiroden Route 6 + 3 more

 10-20 minute walk (1.4km)

Hiroden Hakushima
 Hiroden Route 9

 10-20 minute walk (1.6km)

Hiroshima Freight Terminal
 Hiroshima Sanyo Main Line

 20-30 minute walk (2.1km)

 Astram Line + 1 more

 20-30 minute walk (2.2km)

Around Kokuzenji Temple

Kokuzenji Temple

Buddhist Temple in Hiroshima

open 6am - 6pm
closed Irregularly


國前寺, 広島

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Updated 13 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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