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Shisendo Temple

Shisendo Temple

Shisendo Temple was the mountain hermitage built as a retreat in 1641 by Ishikawa Jozan (then aged 59), who had served the general Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Edo Shogunate. Jozan retired from service as a warrior at the young age of 33 and began to study Zen Buddhism and the Cheng-Zhu school of Neo-Confucianism, opening up a new world of calligraphy, Chinese poetry, and the sencha tradition of steeped tea; he became a refined man of culture who also devoted himself to gardening, pouring his genius into Shisendo Temple until his death at the age of 90. You enter the grounds through a simple bamboo entrance, which takes you up a stone staircase that is surrounded by a bamboo grove. After slipping off your shoes and paying at the entrance, you enter the main hall. Thirty-six portraits of Chinese poets decorate the Shisen (poet) hall.