Sekijo-ji Temple and Seikeien Garden [Saitama]

【Sekijo-ji summary】

The official name of Sekijo-ji Temple is Senjuin Seiheizan Sekijo-ji Temple. The main deity is the Senju Kannon (Goddess of Mercy). The temple was originally built on the Kumagaya bank (the embankment of the Arakawa River), but the main hall and other structures were destroyed by fire during the Kumagaya air raid in August 1945, and the temple was relocated here. The name of the temple was derived from the fact that the nearby Arakawa River often floods, so a levee was built and the temple was built near the levee to pray for blessings (meaning that the temple was built on top of piles of stones).

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Although I cannot post a photo, the principal image of the Thousand-Armed Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) is said to have been carved by the famous Buddhist sculptor Meikei Matsumoto, and it was a wonderful statue of the Buddha.

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There is an early-blooming cherry tree named after the warlord Kumagai Naozane. This Kumagai cherry tree (Kumagai sakura) was destroyed in an air raid during the war. The Kumagai cherry trees were destroyed in an air raid during the war, so they were planted around 1996, but they all had beautiful pink flowers. The best time to see them is in mid-March. Seikei-en is located on the next site.

【Seikeien summary】

Seikeien is a circular garden created in the early Meiji period by Takei Jenyo, a man of many accomplishments for the development of Kumagaya. In 1950, Kumagaya City took over the garden and designated it as a place of scenic beauty, after which it became open to all visitors free of charge.

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It is a circular garden centering on a large pond, and visitors can enjoy the view while overlooking the pond. The autumn leaves look beautiful in fall.

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The park has Japanese-style buildings such as “Sekisuikaku,” which is built on stilts, and “Seikeiryo” and “Shofu-an,” which can be used as tea rooms, and were renovated and restored in the Heisei era. The interior is open to visitors, and the view from there can also be enjoyed. There are several volunteer guides stationed in the garden, who explained the origin of the garden to us.

【Sekijo-ji Temple and Seikeien Garden Access】

Manager’s Comments

If you come to the park to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere unique to a Japanese garden, you may feel that it is small in scale and insufficient. Ishijo-ji Temple and Seikeien are separated by a wall, and those who do not know about them will probably visit only one of them. However, Ishijoji Temple offers early-blooming Kumagaya cherry blossoms, and nearby is Kumagaya Sakura-tsutsumi, so it is a must-visit place during the cherry blossom season. I think Kumagaya City should do a little more to improve the surrounding area and make it more appealing.

my opinion

Sekijo-ji Temple and Seikeien Garden

36 Kamakura-cho, Kumagaya-shi, Saitama 360-0046

※Free parking available

Approximately 20 minutes on foot from JR Kumagaya Station

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