Shorenin Monzeki is one of the three monzeki of Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei (other two is Sanzen-in and Myoho-in). It is now one of the five Kyoto Monzeki of the Tendai sect.
It originated from Shorenbo, a monk’s abode on Mt. Hiei, which at that time was the residence of Saicho, Ennin, and other high-ranking priests.
The emperor Toba took refuge in the temple, and Shorenin Temple as a monzeki temple began with the construction of a Shinden (imperial hall) at the present location.
During the Edo period (1788), when the Imperial Palace got fire, Emperor Gosakuramachi used Shorenin as a temporary palace. For this reason, it is also known as the Awata Gosho (imperial palace).
Shinden (Imperial Hall) is a relocated version of the former hall of Tofukumonin, the grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The current building, however, is a reconstruction after a fire in the year 1893.
Soami, a painter of the Muromachi period, designed a garden in the style of a pond garden. Also in the Edo period, Enshu Kobori created the Kirishima Garden.
Aofudo of Shorenin
Aofudo (blue fudo) is the common name for the Fudo Myoo image in the Shorenin. It is a national treasure. Aofudo was created in the mid-Heian period. This is because the whole body is blue. Aofudo is one of the three Fudo Myoo images, along with Akafudo (red fudo) and Kifudo (yellow fudo).
What you now see inside the temple is a precise picture of Aohudo. You can see Aofudo image here.
The adjacent Chion-in Temple is a large temple, but before the Edo period it was the land of Shorenin Temple.
Model courses to visit Shorenin
Shorenin is one of Kyoto Gokashitsu Monzeki temples. Gokashitsu Monzeki temples are prestigious temples among Tendai Sect temples.