Founded by Kobo Daishi (Kukai) in 807, Chokokuji Temple is one of Sado’s ancient temples and was created to resemble Hasedera Temple in Nara. Chokokuji Temple owns a large number of cultural assets which tell the story of Japanese history, including three Eleven-Headed Kannon Statues (National Important Cultural Properties) created by Kobo Daishi himself, to statues of Kongo Rikishi (two wrath-filled guardians of the Buddha) made in the Heian Period (10th-12th centuries), as well as Gochido Hall, which is a prefectural cultural asset. The statues of the eleven-headed Kannon are only unveiled to the public once every 33 years and the next time they can be seen will be in 2034.
While the temple has immense historical value, it is also famous as the “temple of flowers,” including its display of peonies. The gardens of the temple are colourful in all seasons with a variety of flowering plants, including azalea, hydrangea and cosmos. The temple is also unique for keeping rabbits in the grounds, which eat the grass and weeds. There is also a rabbit kannon statue, built to thank the rabbits for clearing the weeds in the temple gardens.
There are also three cedar trees estimated to be more than 1,000 years old, which are designated as important prefectural natural properties, and a massive Japanese umbrella pine that is estimated to be more than 500 years old.
There are 30, 40, 50, and 60-minute free guided tours of the temple (reservation required), and other experience-based courses are also available, including writing out sutras, Zen meditation and Buddhist sermons.
- Opening Times
- 30 minutes by car from Ryotsu Port
- Car Park
- No. 1 car park (micro bus spaces: 2, car spaces: 15)
No. 2 car park (car spaces: 10)
No. 3 car park (large bus spaces: 3, micro bus spaces: 2, car spaces: 10)
- Reviews (TripAdvisor)
- Telephone Number