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The most famous swordsman in Japan, Miyamoto Musashi, has spend his later years in this cave and wrote the famous "Gorin-no-sho" in which all the essence of swordsmanship is included. The cave is situated at the foot of Kinpozan mountain. It is situated behind a mysterious temple, "Uganzenji", famous as a spiritual place. On the surface of Reigando, there are statues of disciples of Buddha, called "Gohyaku rakan". It has a spiritual and unique atmosphere. In the Treasure museum at the entrance of the cave, you can see a famous wooden sword, "Ganryujima", that Musashi has used in historical battle. You can also see his portrait.
- 589 Matsuomachihira-yama, Nishi-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto
- Contact No.
- 2-min walk from JR Kumamoto station. From there, take a tram from Kumamoto station mae, bound for Kumamoto shiden Kengun machi. After 10 min of tram ride, take off at Karashima cho tram stop. After walking 3 min to reach Kumamoto Kotsu Center, take a Kyushu Sanko Bus bound for Tamanashi- Kawachi via Yoshino. After 30-min bus ride, take off at Iwato Kanon Entrance bus stop. 20-min walk from there.
- Opening Hours / Holidays
Open all year round
- Time Required
- 30 min
- Admission fee
- Visit 200 yen
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Miyamoto Musashi (1584-) was a master swordsman and a military strategist in 1600s. In fact, he is the first one who fought using two swords. He has also created ink paintings and craft works that are chosen as important cultural property. According to "Gorin-no-sho", he has never lost a serious fight in his sixty-something fights. He started to write "Gorin-no-sho" at the age of 60. After two years of writing, he has put down his pen and died two months after that.
"Gorin-sho" written by Miyamono Musashi
As you go through a small and steep up and down path, deeper behind the temple, you will reach "Reigando" where stones are piled up at the entrance. After you climb the stairs, you will reach a quiet area in the cave, where a temple with wooden floor lies. There is a statue of Goddess of Mercy, "Iwato Kannon" is enshrined. This place will move you, just thinking how Musashi has stayed here to write in his late years.
Statue of disciples of Buddha, "Gohyaku rakan"
On the rock wall from Uganzenji temple to Raigando, the statues of "Gohyaku rakan" are enshrined, made by merchants of Kumamoto about 200 years ago. They make the place looks spiritual. "Rakan" means disciples of Buddha. Each statue is different and has different expressions on their face.
"Treasure museum" where you can see documents of Musashi and other poets of Kumamoto
On the right hand side of Hondo Hall, there is a Treasure museum near the entrance of Raigando. Here paintings of Musashi and a wooden sword, "Ganryujima", that he used in the historic fight, are exhibited. There is also a painting of the father of a writer, Seisho Nagon (approx. 966-1025), having a relationship with female poet from Kumamoto, called "Higaki".