- Sesonji Temple
The first meditation hall of the Nichiren School of Buddhism in Sado, located in an area of historic relics
Sesonji Temple houses a lovely green garden on its ancient grounds. Six temple buildings, including the main hall, are designated as Japan's Tangible Cultural Properties. Morikuni Endo, who was a member of Emperor Juntoku's troop and accompanied to Sado along with Emperor Juntoku, encountered Nichiren (founder of Nichiren School of Buddhism, exiled to Sado) and became a fervent follower of him. Sesonji Temple is a meditation hall established with Nikko, a leading disciple of Nichiren, as the head of the temple. The temple houses a mandala drawn by Nichiren Shonin, and also a drawing of Daikokuten (god of wealth) which Nichiren drew at the beach of Shibute (Mano) at the time of his departure from Sado after being pardoned. Mahori Hogan Yoshitaka, a master painter, donated a painting entitled Shibuya Daikokuten. Sesonji Temple is one of the temples on Sado's Seven Gods of Fortune pilgrimage route. Sesonji Temple is also known for its beautiful azalea.
Facility Basic Information
- 643 Takeda, Sado, Niigata 952-0302
- For inquiries
- Transport Access
- Ryotsu Port Approx 30 minutes by car
- Nearest bus stop
- Takedabashi （Minamisen [South Line], Kuninaka Line, Kanamarusen Line） Approx. 20 minutes on foot from bus stop
Shrines and Buddhist Temples Noh Stages
Daizen Shrine sits in a rustic setting resembling the landscape of Asuka in Nara Prefecture. Honma Yamashironokami, the manor's lord, initiated the enshrinement of Suketomo Hino (an exiled court noble) and Daizenbo (an ascetic hermit) together, while Miketsuokami (the god of food) is enshrined at the main building. When Kumawakamaru, the son of Suketomo Hino, came over to Sado to revenge his father's death by execution, Daizenbo helped him escape and was, consequently, executed. This shrine reputedly houses Daizenbo in order to calm his revengeful ghost. Reconstructed in 1846, the Noh stage with its thatched and hipped roof (designated a Niigata Prefecture Tangible Folk Cultural Asset), is one of the four Noh stages in the Kuninaka area where Noh performances were regularly held. It is said to be the oldest Noh stage still in existence in Sado. At present, Noh performances are offered at a festival on the 18th of April; and in June, Noh and Sagi School's Kyogen performances take place.
Shrines and Buddhist Temples Noh Stages
Tamemori Endo (Abutsubo Nittoku Shonin) served Nichiren upon being exiled to Sado and became an avid believer of the Hokke mantra. Together with his wife, Sen-nichini (a Buddhist nun), he opened his residence as a temple in 1278, and this is said to be the origin of Myosenji Temple. The temple used to be a residence of the Takeda Honma clan, deputy governor of Sado, and the ambience of a castle still remains. On site stands the only five-story pagoda in Niigata Prefecture, as well as the grave of Suketomo Hino, who was forced into exile on Sado after the Shochu Incident.
Heritage and Relics
Shimoko Site (Japan's designated Historical Site) is a square-shaped site of ruins situated around Takedabashi on the Prefectural Route 65, with Osado Mountain Range as its backdrop. The site is encircled by double moats, and two structures with earthfast posts were unearthed there. Many Sueki ware (clay fired at a high temperature), and Hajiki ware (plain, reddish ware), made around the 9th century, were discovered, too. The name "Shimoko (literally means low provincial government)" appears in the Genroku Land Register (1688 - 1704), and it is considered that there used to be buildings similar to government offices or officers' accommodation on the site.
Shrines and Buddhist Temples
Sado Kokubunji Temple
Considered to have been established in 764, Sado Kokubunji Temple (provincial temple) was burnt down several times after lightning strike and great fire. The present-day Kokubunji Temple is located to the east of the old site. The year of establishment is not clearly known, but it is said to be the early Edo Period (early 17th century). Within the grounds lie the main hall as well as Niomon gate with a pair of statues of Buddha's guardians, Rurido Hall, Bell Tower, and so on. The main image of Buddha, a wood statue of Yakushinyorai (Bhaisajyaguru: the Buddha of healing and medicine) survived fires and is installed in the storehouse.
Stores where you can eat and drink nearby
Restaurant Set menus/Rice bowls/Kamameshi(hot pot rice) Steak and Burger steak Chinese Ramen Noodles
Family Restaurant Taigaa
Family Restaurant Taigaa stands on the Minamisen bus route. The kitchen delivers a great variety of delights from burger steaks and a bowl of rice with breaded deep-fried pork cutlet to fried rice and Chinese ramen noodles. A popular man-pleasing menu item is "stamina-don", which is a bowl of rice with stir-fried garlic, Chinese chives and pork on top. Omuraisu (an omelette stuffed with fried rice) with its fluffy, soft eggs comes recommended for women and children. The restaurant is equipped with a stage and a drum set, so that you can enjoy live entertainment, too.
Tea House/Coffee Shop Italian Cuisine Sweets
Garage cafe RENNSPORT
Garage cafe RENNSPORT was opened to display cars by the car-mania owner. The cafe exhibits changing displays of cars varying from classic Porsche vehicles to Lotus cars, which indeed make a garage! The cafe menu has weekly spaghetti and sweet delights, which speak of the cook's joy. Organic fruit juice and chai tea also have a crowd-pleasing reputation.
Kappo Japanese Fine Cuisine at a counter
Ajigokoro Kagura offers three options for traditional Japanese multi-course dinners: Hana (flower) for 3,500 JPY, Irodori (color) for 4,000 JPY, and Miyabi (elegance) for 5,000 JPY. Sashimi, the tempura set and the seafood rice bowl, all prepared with seasonal ingredients, are also gaining popularity.
Dining & Bar Restaurant Tea House/Coffee Shop Bar/Snack Bar Steak and Burger steak Other Light meal Sweets
Restaurant & Bar Kosado
It is known for its set meals such as hamburger steak and Japanese-style pork cutlet, as well as for its "Sado beef sirloin steak" that is always available. Home-roasted coffee, handmade cakes made from Sado fruits and wild plants, and Sado Bancha pudding, a local pudding, are also popular. The mixed parfait "Jigoku-Mori" is a large parfait with cake on top, which is also a popular item.