Zen buddhist Temple

Dairyuji is a Zen Buddhist temple of the Soto-shu sect in Japan. Meaning Big Dragon Temple, Dairyuji is located on the Oga peninsula in northern Japan.With a history of over 800 years, the working temple continues to maintain local traditions as well as welcome visitors. 


The Legend of Dairyuji

There is a legend about a dragon who, living in the nearby Sea of Japan, transformed into a beautiful woman. Full of despair she sought out Dairyuji`s priest for healing and found contentment through the Buddhist teachings. Becoming a disciple she shaved her head as a symbol of rejecting earthly desires. Before returning to the sea she left her hair which was turned into a `housu`, a treasured talisman which is still used today during important ceremonies.


The History of Dairyuji

Dairyuji was established over 800 years ago and joined the Soto-shu sect in 1557. The temple moved twice and has been in the current location since 1932. Keno Miura is the 38th head priest.

The Soto-shu sect of Zen Buddhism was brought to Japan from China by Dogen Zenji. He built Eiheiji monastery in Fukui prefecture in 1244.

 Buddha achieved enlightenment through meditation, therefore Zen Buddhism focuses on sitting zazen. Creating a mindful practice of meditating allows you to see the world as it truly is. 


Visit Dairyuji

You are welcome to stay as long as you want and are encouraged to explore the surrounding outdoor areas and statues. Views of the Mt. Kanpu and the Sea of Japan can be best viewed from bell tower where you can also ring the bell. You can enjoy the four seasons at Dairyuji year round. Huge azalea bushes bloom in May, cool breezes blow in through the open sliding doors during summer, fall foliage turns bright yellow and red in autumn and snow covers the garden grounds in winter. 

Open daily from 8:30 am to 4:30pm April to October and 8:30am to 4:00 November to March. Visitors served tea in the tea room which is situated near the water garden. A donation of ¥500 is appreciated and can be given either as entering or leaving.