Chozenji Temple

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Chozenji Temple is one of the Kofu Gozan or Five Great Zen Temples of Kofu, chosen by the warlord Takeda Shingen, who ruled Kai Province (present-day Yamanashi) from 1540 to 1573. The temples were tasked with praying for the protection and safety of the province. Chozenji was of particular significance to Shingen, as it was the family temple of his mother, Lady Ooi.

In the 1550s, after Lady Ooi passed away, Shingen moved the temple from its original place in the modern-day city of Minami-Alps to where it stands today. The temple’s founding priest (kaisan) post-relocation was Gishu Genpaku, Shingen’s childhood teacher of Confucianism and politics. It is said that he had a great influence on Shingen's outlook and philosophy of life.

Centrally located, the temple is about 10 minutes’ walk from Kofu Station. A large wooden gate (sanmon) marks the entrance to the grounds. Be sure to look up as you walk under it to see the vaulted ceiling supported by dozens of round wooden beams. Chozenji’s quiet garden has multiple paths and a pond, all framed by tall cedar trees. The modest temple buildings blend in with the surrounding trees, and exploring the quiet, secluded grounds makes for a spiritual experience.

The temple has a three-story pagoda and a five-story pagoda. Both are close to the temple cemetery, and the octagonal three-storied pagoda stands near the tomb of Shingen’s mother.


Venue Address

400-0023 208 Atagomachi, Kofu-shi

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