The Highlights of the Must-See Garden at Joten-ji in Hakata, Fukuoka
Joten-ji, which is close to Hakata Station, was founded in 1242 (3rd year of Ninji), which was in the middle of the Kamakura period. It is said that Enni, a monk of the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism, founded it with the help of the government official, Muto Sukeyori, and Sha Kokumei, a wealthy merchant who made his fortune by trading with Song China.
This area is famous as the birthplace of udon and soba noodles, as well as manju, thanks to the water mill technology that Enni brought back from Song China. Furthermore, Hakata-ori – which is considered to be a traditional craft of Japan – was developed from the weaving technology that Mitsuda Yazaemon, who traveled to China with Enni, brought back. It is said that Enni came up with the traditional pattern called “kenjo-gara”.
One aspect of Joten-ji is that it is the birthplace for a variety of things, but the karesansui (dry landscape garden) is what distinguishes it. It is said that the white stones that cover the ground represents Genkai Sea, while the greenery represents the continent of China. It is so beautiful and orderly that it may make you sigh! It is usually not open to the public, but you can always see it from afar.
The Sentotei Garden is lit up every year in the fall during the Hakata Lightup Walk (Hakata Sennen Koya).
Joten-ji is known as the birthplace for a variety of things, including one of Hakata's representative crafts and food beloved by the locals. There is much to see, including a stone monument that tells of its history and a rock garden with beautiful raked gravel waves. Feel the history and culture of Hakata at the dignified grounds of the temple, as well as its surrounding areas.
Hours: (Visiting hours) 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on October 12, 2017]
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.