Wednesday, September 05, 2012

, , ,

Rinzai Zen Temple, Taipei

9/05/2012 Taiwan Explorer

The Rinzai Zen Temple 臨濟宗護國禪寺 is one of the most beautiful temples, that were preserved from the Japanese occupation of Taiwan (1895-1945). Today's temple only consists of the Main Hall 大雄寶殿 and the Main gate 山門 (lit. Mountain gate) and was renovated in the recent years. The original temple was completed in 1911 and opened in a ceremony in 1912. The Zen temple belongs to the Rinzai sect 臨済宗 (Chinese Línjì zōng), one of the three sects of Zen Buddhism.

I had no idea about this temple until I saw the beautiful Mountain gate while visiting the Lin An Tai Residence. At that time I did not assume, that a beautiful wooden temple is located inside a complex, that looked like a concrete parking space surrounded by some random buildings. Burt, a Taiwanese blogger, who had a similar impression of the buildings, that enclose this temple, called them "貧民窟", which means something like slum housing (from his post: "廟的周邊全用簡陋得幾近貧民窟似的水泥建築封圍起來", ). This is a sad reality of many historic sites in Taipei - a temple as this one should be seen from a far and could be surrounded by a beautiful garden, that would blend in perfectly with the surrounding Yuanshan Park. But then again, we can be happy, that the temple still stands.

Here are some of my photos from August, 2012:

This is the main gate, which is not used as such anymore.

See more photos of the Main gate on Odie's blog>>

The main hall.

The main door of the temple. You're not allowed to go in.

Two red lanterns.

A closeup shows the excellent wood work.

A chain of metal blossoms hanging from above.

Another angle on the wooden structure.

The northern part.

The beautiful gable.

A close up.

The character above the lion's head "鎮" means "guard".

See more photos of the Main hall on Odie's blog>>

The concrete parking lot.

The new main gate of the complex. It's right next to Yuanshan MRT Station.

To find the Rinzai Zen Temple, exit at Yuanshan MRT Station and go out at Exit 2 (turn right, cross the street). The temple complex is open to public until 17h, entrance is free of charge. Here are some recommended reads on Buddhism in Taiwan during the Japanese occupation:

Buddhism in Taiwan, a historical survey - by Charles Brewer Jones (recommended!)
The History and Development of Jodo Shin Buddhism in Taiwan - by Clifton Dodatsu Ong

View Taiwan Map by Kafkaesque in a larger map

Map and useful information


Ningnuo Pinyin: Gǔcuò Línjì Hùguó Chánsì
Related website: Homepage
My useful tips: Transportation in Taipei


Donghe Bell Tower
Puji Temple
Zhongshan District

Always double check my information before use, blogging is just my free time activity; I can't be held liable for any loss, damage or discomfort occurred as a result of using my travel guides | Romanization in Taiwan

▷ BLOG NAVIGATION: Taiwan>> Taipei Travel Page>> Zhongshan District>> Rinzai Zen Temple