Kuonji Temple Main Gate

Main content starts here.

The Main Gate or Somon is the first gate one passes through to enter Kuonji, the grand head temple of the Nichiren school of Buddhism. Crossing its threshold is thus the first step toward the wisdom believed to be attained by those who climb the 287 steep steps up to the temple precinct. It is said that the path to Buddhist transcendence is symbolically revealed by passing through the Somon.

The gate dates to the year 1665, when it was donated by Juou-In, mother of Lord Miura Akitaka of Mikawa Province (now part of Aichi Prefecture in central Japan). Kuonji, established here in 1281, was at the time of Juou-In’s gift helmed by its 28th head priest, Nichiden.

In the time of 36th head priest Niccho, the Somon underwent renovation, with a large frame containing bold characters added above the entranceway. Reading kaiekan, these Chinese-derived characters proclaim that the gate is to open the minds of all living things, allowing them equally to reach the shining pure land promised by Nichiren, one of Japan’s predominant Buddhist schools that now has adherents worldwide.

The Somon, together with 18 other structures within Kuonji, was in 2018 designated a Registered Tangible Cultural Property.


Venue Address

409-2593 3567 Minobu, Minobu-cho, Minamikoma-gun

View on Google Maps

Home of Mt. Fuji > Uncover > Kuonji Temple Main Gate