By Febry Fawzi
Whilst your enjoying your stay in Saitama, it can be a wonderful idea to go for a morning or afternoon walk. When in Japan, why not take the scenic route via a temple? Don’t miss out on visiting the small, but serene, Kenpukuji temple, Hanyu, Saitama.
Located just a few minutes from Grantia Hanyu Spa Resort, Kenpukuji temple lies just beside the main street in Hanyu City. For those who adore Japanese architecture, you can find a great example here to admire and take photos of. This temple resides by a cemetery. You can find the dark wooden building with its blue roof standing to welcome you. The gate also accommodates a huge temple bell.
Kenpukuji is not just a small temple, there’s a story behind it, related to Japanese author Tayama Katai (1872-1930). His most famous book is Inaka Kyōshi or Country Teacher in 1909, inspired by Kenpukuji's young teacher that died young during the Russo-Japanese War. Now years later, you can still find the memoirs of this young teacher.
Kenpukuji has a gallant statue in the middle of the hall of the young teacher, Kobayashi Shuzo. Just across the main statue, six dedicated monk statues guide you into the main building. There’s a praying hall with temple bell that you can ring while making a prayer but beforehand, you need to wash your hands, rinse your mouth and cleanse your soul at the tsukubai basin.
To access Kenpukuji temple, you just need to walk from Hanyu Station and take the east exit. You will find the main road just in front of the station which you just follow for a few minutes. There is no admission fee but you can donate by praying here.
After the healthy relaxation at Grantia Hanyu Spa Resort, I could find peace for my soul at Kenpukuji - a serene temple that has a fascinating story behind it and can prove inspirational learning about the legendary author, Tayama Katai.
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