Japan, Uji

Mampuku-ji Temple (萬福寺)

Mampukuji Temple was the head temple of Zen Obaku sect and was founded in 1661 by Ingen, a Chinese monk. Ingen was the founder of Zen Buddhism and was responsible for importing the Zen Obaku sect, the most recent form of Zen Buddhism from China into Japan. The architecture is distinctively Chinese, incorporating contemporary designs of the Ming Dynasty. It is profoundly peaceful and quiet here.

The main entrance to Mampuku-ji Temple
The main entrance to Mampuku-ji Temple

The temple grounds are extensive, set out as a courtyard, connected by stone paved path. It has beautiful Zen gardens surrounded by raked pebbles. There were not many people here when I arrived and gave me an opportunity to get “lost” in the extensive space!

Stoned footpath lines the entrance to the Temple
Stoned footpath lines the entrance to the Temple
This is the entrance from the road_Mampuku-ji Temple
This is the entrance from the road to Mampuku-ji Temple
Picture of the extensive grounds of Mampuku-ji Temple
Picture of the extensive grounds of Mampuku-ji Temple

Mampuku-ji is popular for Shojin Ryori, a sophisticated Buddhist cuisine. It is the traditional dining style of Buddhist monks in Japan and became associated with Zen Buddhism in the 13th century. If you want to experience this traditional dining, you need to book in advance.

Useful information:

Opening times: 09:00 to 17:00

Last entry at 16:30

Admission: 500 Yen

NB: This grounds of this temple is huge, so getting here just before 16:40 will not really be worth your while. Half-an-hour is too short. You may need at least an hour minimum but anything more will be awesome!

Getting here:

JR Line

Mampukuji is about five minutes from Obaku Station on the JR Nara Line.

Keihan Railways

Take the Keihan Line from Kyoto, Gion-Shijo Station to Keihan Obaku Station. The one way trip takes about 20 minutes, costs around 310 Yen. It requires a transfer of trains at Chushojima Station. Trains run every 5 minutes between Keihan Obaku and Uji Stations, and its 150 yen). Mampukuji is 10 minutes walk from Keihan Obaku Station.

You can also take the local trains between Kyoto and Obaku but these trains stops frequently, at every station and takes about half-an hour.

On foot

Alternatively, you can walk to Mampukuji in 30-40 from the Uji Bridge.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.