Anrakuji monastery, (in) Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, JP

Raw data

According to the temple’s chronicle, Anryakuji was built on Mt. Sôfuku sometime between 729 and 748 by Gyôgi (670–749). More credibly, it was founded or expanded by Shokoku Isen, a Zen priest who studied in China and returned in 1246 with Chinese Zen priest Rankei Doryu (Lan-hsi Tao-lung, 1213-78). Doryu described Anryakuji in a letter as a large Zen monastery. In the 1200s, it enjoyed the patronage of the powerful Hôjô clan in Kamaura until the fall of the Kamakura Shogunate 1333. After a period of decline, the temple was restored in the Edo period (1600–1868) by the fief lord Maeda Nobuyuki.

Today, Anryakuji is known for possessing the only remaining medieval octagonal pagoda in Japan, believed to date to the Kamakura period (1185–1333). The main object of worship is Sakyamuni. There are also two prized wooded statues of Isen and Chinese priest Enin, the second abbot.

- Uryû (2003: 225-6)
- “Anrakuji Temple”
Input by: Lizbeth H. Piel, Feb 02, 2011

"Anraku-ji is one of Kyoto’s beautiful temples located in the Onsen town of Bessho Spa.
The temple originally served as a training temple of the priest Honen. Legend has it that the disciples of Honen, Anraku and Oren (a.k.a. Juren) had inspired and persuaded two women Matsumushi and Suzumushi to become Jodo Nuns. Unfortunately for Anraku and Oren these ladies were no ordinary women- they happened to be consorts of Cloister Emperor Gotoba. Furious that his wives had left his palace to embrace the life of nuns the emperor ordered the execution of the Anraku and Oren and exiled Honen. And hence the Anrakuji temple was dedicated to the martyred souls of the priests Anraku and Oren. The wooden statues of Juren, Anraku, Matsumushi and Suzumushi still hark of the past tragedy. The tombs of all four are on the grounds of Anraku-ji."

Input by: tmciolek, May 02, 2011

“Anrakuji temple is the eleventh temple of Bando (33 Kannon temples of Kanto region) pilgrimage circuit.” -
Input by: tmciolek, Feb 27, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 27 Feb 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Anrakuji monastery, JP.

General location of the Anrakuji monastery, JP.
Lat 35.02158 Long 135.79665
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2010.

Google Map link:,%20JP)&ll=35.02158,135.79665&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Anrakuji 安楽寺. Alternative English spelling: Anraku-ji

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Japan: Nagano Prefecture

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 35.02158 Long 135.79665 - based on visual identification of the site in maps and satellite imagery, - tmciolek, 3 May 2011.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

  • Ueda-shi (Ueda City), Bessho-onsen, Kyoto

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

11. Date-early

  • Established sometime between 729 and 748 CE - Uryû (2003: 225)
  • MBM chrono-tag 0733-66c - tmciolek 19 Dec 2012
  • 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • 1246 - Uryû (2003: 225)

13. Date-late

  • Edo/Tokugawa period (1600–1868)
  • MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 19 Dec 2012

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Documents, architecture

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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