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Sanmon Gate
Construction Notice:
Sojiji Temple is currently undergoing renovation and restoration works to a number of its buildings and structures. Completion of the construction is expected to be in spring 2021. The typical visiting route will vary during the renovation as pathways and buildings will be closed off to facilitate reconstruction.

Located on the Noto Peninsula, Sojiji Temple (`, Sōjiji) was once one of the most important temples of Zen Buddhism in all of Japan until its fortunes declined.

Sojiji Temple was founded in 1321, and received imperial support from the Emperor Go-Daigo. Alongside with Eiheiji Temple in Fukui Prefecture, Sojiji was one of the two head temples of the Soto sect, one of the two main sects of Zen Buddhism, and at one point oversaw more than 16,000 temples across the country. In 1898 Sojiji suffered a great fire and its functions as head temple were transferred to the Sojiji Temple in Yokohama. Some buildings did survive, though, and many of those that were destroyed were rebuilt.

The Kyozo Sutra Repository

Upon entering the temple grounds, visitors will pass by the Kyozo, a repository for Buddhist scripture. Afterwards, visitors cross the Hakuji Bridge which leads to the Sanmon Gate, the temple's main gate. The Sanmon Gate stands roughly 17 meters high and dates back to 1932.

After passing the gate, visitors enter the temple's main area, whose buildings encircle an inner courtyard with a small pond and some garden space. A circular route then leads through the various main buildings, including the Butsuden, the temple's main hall, and the Sodo, a meditation hall, both of which were built in the early 20th century. Another important building along the way is the Hatto, whose main object of worship is a statue of the temple's founder.

The Butsuden, the temple's main hall


Sojiji Temple stands next to Sojiji-mae bus stop, the first stop after Monzen on buses between Monzen and Togi. However, the temple can also be conveniently reached from Monzen bus stop in about a 15 minute walk. Due to infrequent bus service, walking from Monzen bus stop could well be faster than transferring buses to reach Sojiji-mae bus stop.

Monzen can be reached by direct buses from Wajima (35 minutes, 760 yen, every 1-3 hours). While access from Wakura Onsen is indirect and requires taking the Noto Railway to Anamizu (35 minutes, 680 yen, hourly departures) and then transferring to a bus bound for Monzen (35 minutes, 690 yen, every 1-3 hours). Finally, there are infrequent, direct buses from Hakui Station to Sojiji-mae bus stop (90 minutes, 1530 yen, every 2-4 hours).

How to get to and around the Noto Peninsula

Hours & Fees


8:00 to 17:00


No closing days


400 yen

Typical Visit Duration

About 20-60 minutes


Page last updated: August 7, 2017