A historical and elegant Buddhist temple garden

Raikyu-ji Temple

shrine
One of west Japan's hidden gems

ABOUT THE shrine

Associated with the Rinzai school of Japanese Zen Buddhism and located in Takahashi City, one of the standout features of Raikyu-ji Temple is its breathtakingly pristine and elegant garden. Considered one of the best traditional gardens in west Japan, Raikyu-ji remains a hidden gem as it is not as well-known as the larger and more renowned Korakuen Garden in Okayama City.

The exact age of the temple is unclear, however it is certain that it was first rebuilt in the year 1339 by the warlord Ashikaga Takauji. The second reconstruction occurred in 1504 when the lord of Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, Ueno Yorihisa, rebuilt the exterior.

The garden was added in 1609 by Kobori Enshu, a distinguished garden designer, castle architect and one of the founders of the Japanese tea ceremony.

The garden incorporates Mt. Atago into its background by using a technique known as “borrowed scenery”. It is also referred to as the “crane and turtle garden” on account of the two islands of stone named for those animals. The immaculately trimmed azalea bushes and raked stones add to its beauty and serenity.

Access: From JR Okayama Station, take the JR Hakubi Line to JR Bitchu Takahashi Station. It is about a 15 minute walk from JR Bitchu Takahashi Station to the temple.

 

Additional information;

Admission fee; adults 300 JPY; junior & senior high school students 200 JPY

ABOUT THE AREA

Takahashi City is a wonderful castle town located in western Okayama Prefecture. Despite its small size, the city is full of things to do and places to visit. Historical, natural, cultural, spiritual and artistic sites abound.

A good place to start a visit to the city is the downtown historic district which includes two former samurai residences a temple, a traditional merchant house and two folk museums. Located at the center of town, these sites are all within walking distance. The samurai residences were occupied by the warlords who served the lord of Bitchu-Matsuyama castle.

The highlight of a visit to Takahashi City is Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle.  Located atop a mountain, it commands an amazing view of the city, a testament to its past life as a defensive post. It is one of only twelve original castles in the country and has the highest elevation of any castle in Japan. All original parts of the castle have been designated as Important Cultural Properties by the National Government.

Nariwa Museum is a popular destination which exhibits modern art as well as ancient artifacts. It even has a collection of ancient Egyptian pieces. The Manga Museum has a massive collection of Japanese as well as foreign historical and contemporary comics.

At Fukiya Furusato Village, an old iron oxide mining town, the red-brown color of bengara dominates the landscape. This historical district has been designated as an Important Cultural Property.

 

Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee