Gessho-ji Temple

Travel Guide - Gessho-ji Temple


Gessho-ji Temple was converted from an ordinary temple to a family temple for Matsue's Matsudaira clan in 1664 but once dismantled during the Meiji Restoration (1867 - 1868).
The graves of nine generations of the clan remain and family effects are displayed in the treasure house.
In the temple grounds, recognized as a national historical site, are many relics and artifacts, such as a campanile, a Chinese-style gate, and a tea house that was used by Matsudaira Fumai.

The temple is also famous for its monstrous turtle sculpture.
According to legend, the turtle began to walk to the town and attacked the local people every night.
In order to prevent the turtle from moving at night, the temple's chief priest placed a huge stone on the turtle's back.
The story was introduced in the writings of Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo) as well.

Furthermore, the temple prides itself on having a variety of flowers bloom year round in the peaceful grounds.
Especially mid-July said to be the best time to see the hydrangeas in full bloom, and many people come to visit the "Hydrangea Temple".

Opening Hours

  • 8:30 - 17:30 (April - October)
  • 8:30 - 17:00 (November - March)


  • No closing days

Access / Public Transport

  • 20 minutes from JR Matsue Station by Lakeline Bus. Get off at Gassho-ji-mae Bus stop.
  • 20 minutes walk from Matsue Shinjiko-Onsen Station on the Kita-Matsue Line

Address / Location

* Please click each address to show the location.
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Japan's Local Treasures @J_LocalTreasure - 2021-02-22
Best known for the beautiful hydrangeas that bloom in June, Gessho-ji is a quiet temple in Matsue that features cha…
Japan's Local Treasures @J_LocalTreasure - 2021-02-18
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Details of the vegetation in Gessho-Ji temple's gardens, Matsue, Japan
Susumu Uchida @SusumuUchida - 2015-05-31
'Picture of Chinese children playing'<1913-1915> by Gessho Tamura in Kennin-ji temple, Kyoto.