Ryuunji (Cloud Dragon Temple)
Ryuunji is a Soto Zen temple, which was founded by Misumi Nobukane in 1382. Its name translates literally to Dragon Cloud Temple, but it is also known as “Kaikurasan”, or Sea Storehouse Mountain. It's set deep in mountain valley, on a steep, narrow, road. It is about 2 kilometers uphill from Misumi shrine, so you can go by car in about ten minutes.
This temple has beautiful buildings and a garden. Nature surrounds Ryuunji, and you can see scenic views in every season: cherry blossom in Spring, azaleas in May, red leaves in Autumn, and a beautiful snowy landscape in winter.
In the pond, there are some creatures like newts and tadpoles.When you enter the front door, you will see a small bell for calling the chief priest.
In the main hall, you can see a carving of a dragon above the sliding door. And when you look up at the ceiling you can see the picture of a large dragon! This is the reason that this temple is called Ryuunji, or dragon cloud temple. Legend has it that you can clap your hands and hear the dragon roar.
This temple contains a prefecturally-designated cultural property and some cultural properties like statues and a Buddhist sutra. Japanese pictures are drawn on sliding doors inside the temple. There is also a peaceful Zen meditation hall for visitors who make reservations.
It is possible to call in advance to arrange for lunch and Zen meditation sessions. Please be sure to make a reservation if you wish to eat at the temple.
Call: 0855-32-0960 ( In Japanese only)
Website: http://ryuun-ji.jp/ (In Japanese only but with some great photographs.)