Kodenji Temple was built by Kyofusa Nabeshima in 1552. After that, Katsushige Nabeshima, the first domain lord, donated a garan building and grounds, making Kodenji Temple the Nabeshima family temple. At the time, it served a central role as a Caodong temple.
In 1871, the last lord of the Saga Domain, Naohiro Nabeshima, gathered the graves of the Nabeshima family, which had been located in various places, together with the graves of the Ryuzoji family which ruled Saga during the Sengoku era, and relocated them at Kodenji Temple.
Now, the gravestones and votive lanterns are arranged neatly, with the Nabeshima family in the west of the graveyard and the Ryuzoji family in the east. The famous Dainehan scroll in Kodenji Temple's storehouse was made by a scroll painter from Kyoto, Wakairi Saemon, by order of the 3rd generation domain lord, Tsunashige Nabeshima and is one of only two precious items in Japan. This scroll is allowed to be viewed by the public at the Shakadou Festival on the 19th and 20th of April. At around 7 meters in width and 15.5 meters tall, the Dainehan scroll is certainly worth seeing. Kodenji Temple is also well known for its plum trees, and is abustle with crowds of visitors who come to see the pink and white plum flowers when they are in bloom. A pink plum tree called Reitokujubai, said to be 400 years old, also blooms in all its glory, filling its onlookers with a feeling of joy. A river and moat surrounds the periphery of the temple and visitors can enjoy a walk as they appreciate the beauty of the plum flowers. This temple also has many connections with some famous Saga names, such as being the resting place for Shinyo Edayoshi, a Confucianism follower, his younger brother, and Taneomi Soejima, who was known as the minister for foreign affairs and an avid book reader. There is also a tree in the temple grounds called "Hachitaro". It is said that Shigenobu Okuma, the 5th prime minister of Japan, was scolded by a monk after climbing this tree, which was then named "Hachitaro", which was Shigenobu's birth name.
● Period: Best time of plum blossoms / February
Opening of Shaka-do Hall: April 19 - May 5
From train station: 15-minute taxi ride from Saga Station on the JR Nagasaki Main Line
Car: 25-minute drive from Nagasaki Expressway Saga-Yamato IC
Bus: Get on Saga City Bus bound for Souou/Hisadomi at Saga Station Bus Center, get off at Kodenji Mae stop, and walk for 5 minutes
● Free entry to Temple, Admission Fee: 300 yen
*400 yen when Shaka-do Hall is open
● Opening Hours: 8:00 - 18:00
● Parking Lot: Accommodates about 30 cars (free of charge)
● Contact: Koudenji Temple, Tel: +81-952-23-6486