The Five-Storey Pagoda at Rurikoji Temple

Considered as one of the most beautiful pagodas in Japan, this picturesque structure is a national treasure that dates from the 15th century.


WordsLéa-Trâm Berrod

© 2009-2022 Yamaguchi Prefecture Tourism Promotion Division

Located in Yamaguchi in the heart of Kozan Park, Rurikoji Temple’s five-storey pagoda stands in front of the hills adorned with plum and cherry blossom trees in spring and maple leaves in autumn.

This edifice is one of the most imposing structures from the Muromachi period (1336-1573). Today, it belongs to the Soto school of Buddhism. 


A symbol of one of the most powerful clans in Japan

In 1442, Morimi Ouchi, one of the lords at the head of the Ouchi clan, which was extremely powerful in Yamaguchi at the time, commissioned the construction of the pagoda to pay homage to his elder brother Yoshihiro who died in 1399 while leading a revolt against the central government. The five storeys were built prior to the temple’s main pavilion, which was constructed in 1471. Thus, this architecture affirms the culture of the Ouchi clan, one of the most important families in feudal Japan, which became famous in the art world. 

Standing at a height of 31.2 metres, the structure stands out due to its style with Chinese influences. A symbol of tourism in the city of Yamaguchi, the body of this monument with a cypress bark roof narrows with each level, like a pyramid. It becomes an even more impressive sight once the sun sets, when the building is illuminated and offers a delightful night-time spectacle, reflected in the pond. 

The museum in Kozan Park dedicated to this cultural heritage site offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about its history but also to discover miniature models of several Japanese pagodas. That of the Rurikoji Temple was filmed by the Yamaguchi Prefecture Tourism Promotion Division. 


More information can be found on the Yamaguchi city website.

© 山口市交流創造部観光交流課


© 2009-2022 Yamaguchi Prefecture Tourism Promotion Division