Introducing Painted ceiling of Hongaku-ji Temple | Stunning Scenery of Japan | Japan Highlights Travel, for sightseeing around Tokaido

    1. 11/39
    2. Gifu-Hashima Station
    3. [Painted ceiling of Hongaku-ji Temple]

A staring dragon, and a collaboration across time

A dragon painted in exquisite detail, right down to the scales and whiskers, on the ceiling of Hongaku-ji Temple. If you look carefully, you will see that there is grafting on the ceiling boards. Actually, the painted ceiling was renovated by Yoshine Morimura, a Japanese-style painter born in Nagoya in 1914, after an earthquake during the Meiji period damaged the original work by Ikkei Ukita, a Yamato-e painter of the late Edo period. So it can be said that the ceiling which can be seen today is the result of a collaboration between two artists across time. The dragon fixes visitors with a sharp stare.

※ Views like the one shown in the photo can only be seen under certain conditions (time of day, weather etc.).

  • Viewing period:
  • All year round
  • Challenge level:
  • ★☆☆
  • Feeling:
  • Overwhelming

Travel advice

Hongaku-ji Temple is located near Takehana Station, and admission is free. Enter the main hall to see the dragon painted on the ceiling. Since a canopy hangs from the ceiling in the center of the hall, the whole picture cannot be viewed from one spot, so try looking at it from various angles. The dragon's expression and impression of movement depends on where you are looking from, and you will get the feeling that it is staring in all directions.

The pleasure of travel: Hongaku-ji Temple

Takehana Betsuin, within a 10-minute walk from Hongaku-ji Temple, is famous for its wisteria festival, which is held from late April to early May. The beautiful flowers of a wisteria that is said to be more than 300 years old are a real treat, and many people come to see it every year. There are many shrines and temples in the vicinity and strolling around on foot is also recommended. Chikusen, a lotus cuisine restaurant that serves various dishes prepared using lotus, a local specialty of Hashima, is within walking distance. Visit Yamato Honten to try catfish dishes that have been familiar to local people since olden times.

Takehana Betsuin

Yamato Honten

updated on Mar 31, 2015