Saifukuji Temple

Don’t miss the paintings and sculptures by Uncho Ishikawa, Japan's Michelangelo!

Sekijyosan Saifukuji Temple was opened in 1534. It attracts so many people thanks to sculptures, pictures and stucco work of the genius sculptor Uncho Ishikawa, who was responsible for creating the decorative sculptures and carvings for the interior and exterior of Kaisando Hall, situated next to the main temple hall. 

All of the sculptures and pictures are must-see Uncho masterpieces, but the piece-de-resistance is undoubtedly the huge and imposing carved sculpture that covers the entire ceiling of the hall! The delicacy of the openwork and the vivid colours impress all who come to see it. In addition to this massive sculpture there are also many mosaic woodwork tiles created by Uncho on the floor of the corridor in the main hall, which illustrate the playful spirit of the master craftsman.

Uncho was admired as the Michelangelo of Japan and the works here at Saifukuji Temple are designated by Niigata Prefecture as important cultural assets. These sculptures are truly on a par with those that can be seen at the Toshogu Shrine at Nikko and that is why Saifukuji Temple is also known as the “Echigo-Nikko Kaisando.”

General Information

Entrance fees
Adults 500 yen, Junior high school students and disabled persons (with ID) 300 yen, elementary school students and younger free
Opening Times
9:00-15:40 (closes at 16:00)
Open year round
7 minutes by car from Koide Interchange or 10 minutes by car from Yamato Smart Interchange on the Kanetsu Expressway
10 minutes by taxi from Urasa Station on the JR Joetsu Shinkansen or 15 minutes by taxi from Koide Station on the JR Joetsu Line
Car Park
Official Website
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