Choshoji and Zenringai [長勝寺、禅林街]
Choshoji is a Buddhist temple located 1.3 km southwest of Hirosaki Castle.
Both "o" in the temple name are pronounced long, so it is read as "Chôshôji".
Originally, it was built in Ajigasawa town located about 30 km northwest of Hirosaki in 1528, then it was moved to this place when Hirosaki Castle was completed in 1610.
It is the family temple of Tsugaru clan who governed this area.
The great main gate "Sanmon" was built in 1629.
The height is about 16 meters.
And the main hall "Hondou" and the kitchen of the temple "Kuri" are designated as national important cultural properties.
To the south of Hondou, there are five small temples for successive lords of Tsugaru clan.
They are called as "Tsugaru-ke Tamaya".
From the main gate of Choshoji temple, a straight street runs to the east.
There are 33 temples of Soto Sect (a sect of Zen Buddhism) on both sides of the street for about 600 meters.
The area is Zenringai.
In the next year of the completion of Hirosaki Castle, Tsugaru Nobuhira who is the lord gathered main temples in Tsugaru area for unity of religious culture.
Such group of temples with the same sect is not seen very often in Japan.
How to get here
By route bus, get off at "Shigemori-machi" stop.
About 15 minutes from JR Hirosaki station.