Matsuomachi Hirayama, Nishi Ward, Kumamoto, 861-5282.
By city bus, get off at Iwato Kannon Iriguchi, 20 minutes walk.
Kyushu Expressway exit Kumamoto, Highway 1 towards Taman, turn left Highway 101, then left to the temple.
All year daily 8-17.
Adults JPY 200, Children JPY 100.
Groups (20+): 10% discount.
Groups (50+): 20% discount.
Groups (100+): 30% discount.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
Miyamoto Musashi (1645):
The Book of Five Rings,
|Address:||Reigando Cave, Unganzenji Temple, Matsuomachi Hirayama, Nishi Ward, Kumamoto, 861-5282, Tel: +81-96-329-8854, Fax: +81-96-329-8960.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|14th century||temple founded by Toryo Eiyo, the Chinese priest who first brought Zen to Japan.|
|1643||Miyamoto Musashi comes to the temple to meditate and to write The Book of Five Rings.|
|1645||Miyamoto Musashi dies.|
霊厳洞 (Reigando Cave) is well known as the place where Miyamoto Musashi spent the final two years of his life. Miyamoto Musashi (*1584-✝1645) was one of Japan's most famous swordsmen and thinkers. He was invited by Hosokawa Tadatoshi, a feudal lord of Kumamoto, as a guest to his castle town. Since Hosokawa himself was an avid swordsman, he wished to be instructed in Musashi's unique style. But Musashi despised the opulent lifestyle in Hosokawa's castle town. He retired to Reigando Cave to meditate and to write The Book of Five Rings. He said that a samurai should live a simple life without attaching himself to material things.
Reigando Cave is located in the precincts of Unganzenji Temple, a Zen temple founded in the Nanbokucho period (1336–1392). It was founded by Toryo Eiyo, the Chinese priest who first brought Zen to Japan.
Musashi was in his late 50s when he moved to Kumamoto, and he knew that he was approaching the end of his life. He saw sword-fighting and Zen as similar and complementary practices which led to the finding of the true self. So it was quite natural to retire to a Zen temple. Musashi meditated while sitting on top of the large rock in the cave. At this time there were fewer trees on the mountainside in front of the cave, sowas able to see the sea in the west.