Old Sogenji Temple Gate – Naha, Japan - Atlas Obscura

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Old Sogenji Temple Gate

Naha, Japan

All that remains of Okinawa's royal temple are a restored gateway and a tall banyan tree. 


Founded circa 1527, Sogen-ji Temple was once a grand Buddhist temple with a mausoleum dedicated to the spirits of the kings of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

In 1945, however, the temple was lost during the months-long Battle of Okinawa. All that remained was its First Gate, a triple archway predating the foundation of Sogen-ji. After the war, both the U.S. Civil Administration and local benefactors funded the restoration of the damaged gate, converting the temple site into a public park.

Today, the temple site can be found in the middle of urban Naha, a surrealistic portal to another world. Where the temple once stood now stands a tall banyan tree, locally known as gajumaru, over 30 feet in height.

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June 13, 2024

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