Photo by Roger Smith

Photo by Miyagi Prefecture

Photo by Roger Smith

  • Godaido Temple is the symbol of Matsushima. It was first established in 828 CE by Jikaku Taishi, who also founded Zuiganji Temple, and others in Yamadera and Hiraizumi. He enshrined statues of the Five Great Wisdom Kings here. The original statues are now housed in the Zuiganji Temple Museum and only put on display at Godaido every thirty-three years.

    The temple building on the island today was constructed in 1604 by Date Masamune to celebrate the victory at Sekigahara, the decisive battle which brought an end to the era of civil wars. It is the oldest example of Momoyama period architecture in Tohoku and is designated a National Important Cultural Property. The hall was once painted bright red, though the paint has long since worn away. Notice the animals of the Chinese zodiac carved into the transom around the building.

    The intentionally precarious red bridges connecting the island to the shore are known as sukashibashi. The gaps between the boards are deliberate, existing to compel worshippers’ concentration as they cross.

  • Last Update
    February 7, 2019

    Area Matsushima Bay

Details

ADDRESS

Chonai Matsushima, Miyagi-gun, Miyagi-ken 981-0213

ACCESS BY PUBLIC TRANSIT

8-min. walk from Matsushima-Kaigan Station (Senseki Line)

ADMISSION

Free

LANGUAGES

Japanese only

HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE

No

HOURS

8:00–sunset

CLOSED DAYS

None

PHONE

022-354-2023

OFFICIAL URL

http://zuiganji.or.jp/en/