Zuiganji

Zuiganji, Matsushima-machi

8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
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Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.0
441 reviews
Excellent
141
Very good
199
Average
89
Poor
10
Terrible
2

StanleyAuckland
Auckland, New Zealand2,230 contributions
Zuiganji was first built in 828 and rebuilt in 1609 by Date Masamune.
The Main Hall is beautiful inside. Taking photos is not allowed so please resist the temptation to sneak one as the camera flash will damage the colours (true).

You will be able to buy postcards which show the interior of the building. Outside the main temple but still part of it are the Meditation Caves. They are built into a cliff face and almost seem like a lost world, due to the small trees, ferns and moss growing around and on them.

Close to Zuiganji is Entsuin garden which I rate as No. 2 attraction in Matsushima.
Written January 5, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

david_in_oregon
Portland66 contributions
Couples
This was pretty fascinating. You get to see 6 inch thick tatami mats, details on the construction on the rather excellent root and a whole bunch of other stuff. If you want to see the bones of a clan leader's pad, come here.
Written June 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

C W B
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA175 contributions
Friends
Visited April 29 2019 with a group from a cruise ship. Very neat grounds with many beautiful plants. Some were blooming which added to the beauty. You must take your shoes off and carry them while touring the temple. No photos allowed. Most original objects are in the museum. I enjoyed the museum. There are stairs in the museum.
Written May 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gershon666
Honolulu, HI101 contributions
Couples
Zuiganji temple is a major Zen Buddhist temple in Japan that was established in 828 AD. At that time Matsushima Bay was considered close to paradise. The temple has some magnificent rooms, such as the Peacock room and the High Room. It's worth a visit to get a feel for what living in Japan was like for the samurai warrior. A statue of Date Masamune in armor is quite impressive. I could imagine him gazing at me and ordering that I be decapitated. When Masamune died 20 samurai committed suicide so they could be buried with him.
Written April 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gracia83
Jakarta, Indonesia43 contributions
Friends
Zuiganji is the family temple of the Date family who used to rule most of northern Japan.
The facade of the temple is understated, but the inside is a beauty. Visitors are allowed to walk around the main hall and peruse the magnificent painted sliding doors and the various rooms. Signage in English, minimal but enough to give an overall idea, provides explanation for the usage of the various rooms. Somehow this temple reminds me of Nijo castle in Kyoto, it's so unlike other temples I've visited.
Visitors have to take off their shoes before entering the main hall and photographs are not allowed.
Aside from the main hall, the temple's kitchen and a small museum with a life-sized statue of Date Masamune, among other artifacts, are also opened to the public.
The temple ground has a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.
Written December 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MarkKwok
Vancouver130 contributions
What makes this temple different from others is the caves to the right of the approach to the main hall. Apparently the caves were carved by the ocean. 2/3 of the way down on the approach is a sign indicating the spot where the 2011 tsunami hit. It was a long way from the pier and left one imagining the scale of the tsunami.

The main hall has a number of rooms including one for exclusive use of the emperor but remained unused for 267 years until Emperor Meiji spent a night in 1876.
Written September 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michelle M
Sendai, Japan155 contributions
Solo
Now is the perfect time to visit. The 400 plus years old plum trees that frame the gate are in bloom. The entire area has been reformed, cleaned and is very well staffed. There are explanations in English and, for the most part you are left to explore by yourself. Cost is reasonable at ¥700, but you need cash to use the machines.
Written April 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mid60sCouple
Honolulu, HI72 contributions
Couples
The 400 year old temple is outstanding. The exterior landscape and gardens are serene and beautiful while the temple is remarkably well preserved. It is the best site to see in Matsushima and well worth the 40 minute train ride from Sendai.
Written April 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hfot2 🌸🍁🌸
Vermont6,807 contributions
Couples
In April of 2016 we returned to Matsushima after many years.

Our visit to Zuiganji confirmed what we had read: the temple was undergoing renovation and covered in scaffolding and tarps. Although the temple was open to visitors the exterior was under wraps.

We were saddened to see that so many of the tall stately cedar trees, which once lined both sides of the entrance path, had been cut down. We were even sadder to learn that the trees had been damaged by the salt water resulting from the tsunami. The promenade under the canopy made a grand entrance to the temple when we visited previously.

We took the path along the right side which gives you an opportunity to see up close the caves and statues that line this walkway. The overhanging trees and mossy rocks made for a mysterious atmosphere. Take your time walking along this path, there is much to discover.

The temple is a short walk from the train station or the pier.
Written March 7, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BP_EatLover
Breda, The Netherlands102 contributions
Friends
This us a nice temple, not huge or very colourful from the outside. Actually it is rather simple and ot looks more like a normal house, but it has some exceptional golden panels.
Written June 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Zuiganji

Zuiganji is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
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We recommend booking Zuiganji tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 3 Zuiganji tours on Tripadvisor