Shuzenji Onsen [修善寺]
Shuzenji onsen town
A bridge on Chikurin-no-Komichi
Shuzenji is a hot spring resort located about 18 km south of Mishima city.
There is an old Shuzenji temple in the resort area, the name of the town is from the temple.
(But the kanji characters of the temple name is "修禅寺". The second character means "Zen of Buddhism".)
Shuzenji onsen town is in the valley formed by Katsura River which is a branch of Kano River.
The resort town is along the river, and there are many hotels and ryokans for 1.3 km.
And, Chikurin-no-Komichi (竹林の小径) is set around the river.
It is a path through bamboo grove, and the scenery is like Kyoto.
Entrance gate of Shuzenji temple
Shuzenji temple is in the center of the hot spring resort town.
It is said that the temple was founded by high priest Kuukai in 807.
It was originally a Buddhist temple of Shingon sect, but was converted to Rinzai Zen sect in the 1250s.
It was destroyed by fire in 1409, but Souun Hojo, the lord of this area, rebuilt the temple in 1489.
The current main temple was rebuilt in 1883.
Main temple of Shuzenji
It is said that this hot spring also was found by high priest Kuukai.
When he visited here in 807, he found a boy cleaning his sick father in cold Katsura River.
Kuukai was impressed with the devotion of the boy, so he broke the rocks in the river with his sacred stick.
Then, sacred hot water sprang there.
By the hot water, the boy's father had recovered rapidly and fully.
The hot spring is called Tokko-no-yu (独鈷の湯), and is still by Katsura River.
But, the risk of destruction by flood of the river had been increased, so the original hot spring was moved 19 meters downstream in 2009.
And the small park is constucted around Tokko-no-yu, and thete is a foot bath in the park.
How to get here
From Mishima to Shuzenji, about 40 minutes by local train of Izuhakone Railway.
Then, by route bus to Shizenji-onsen, about 8 minutes from Shuzenji station.