Noninji Temple (能仁寺) in Hanno City, Saitama Prefecture is the head of over 20 Soto Zen Buddhist temples in Hanno region. It has over 500 years of history dating back to the 16th century.
The garden within the temple’s premise is considered to be one of Japan’s 100 finest traditional Japanese gardens. The scene is breathtaking and it’s worth a visit during any season.
The history of Noninji towards the end of Edo period (c. 1603 – 1868) is that of a tragic one. Towards the end of Edo period, also known as Bakumatsu, Japan was transitioning into a modern nation by restoring the power of the Emperor from the Tokugawa shogunate, ultimately ending the country’s feudal system. Small forces of samurai opposing the new government fled from Tokyo (known as Edo at the time) and ultimately to Hanno City during the Boshin War (1868 – 1869). They chose Noninji Temple as their makeshift headquarters and by that time they were approximately 1,500 samurais ready to fight the imperial army. The next day 3,500 imperial soldiers attacked and defeated the samurai forces. During the battle, Noninji Temple was completely destroyed by fire. The main temple was reconstructed in 1936 and other buildings were gradually reconstructed from then on.
Location: 1329 Hanno, Hanno-shi, Saitama
Station: Hanno Station (Seibu Ikebukuro Line/Seibu Chichibu Line), Higashi Hanno Station (Hachiko Line/Seibu Ikebukuro Line/Seibu Chichibu Line)
Business Hours: 9:00 – 16:00 (9:00 – 17:00 during Summer)
Free admission within the premise
JPY 300 for entering the main temple and the garden