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Home > Fuchu city & Kokubunji city Course > Musashi Kokubunji-ato, Tsuketari Tosan-do Musashi-michi-ato (Musashi Kokubunji Temple Site, Appendix: Tosan-do Musashi-michi Road Site)

Recommendation course

Fuchu city & Kokubunji city Course

Let's Take a Stroll around Kokubunji!


Image of Musashi Kokubun-soji;
Photo credit: Musashi Kokubunji Temple Remains Museum

Musashi Kokubunji Temple was founded about 2km to the north of Kokufu in Fuchu City, which consisted of "monastery" and "nunnery" built on the east and west sides of "Tosando Musashi-michi Road". Kokubunji Temples were constructed all over the country by the edict of Emperor Shomu "Kokubunji Konryu no Mikotonori" issued in 741. Musashi Kokubunji Temple is estimated to be founded in Tenpyo-hoji era (757-65 AD), according to the archaeological finds and "lacquer document".

Kokubunji Temples were constructed in 60-some provinces throughout the country, but some of them are unknown as to their whereabouts. In Kokubunji City, Both "monastery" and "nunnery" are identified and preserved in the same area. Musashi Kokubunji Temple Site is a quite precious among the other Kokubunji Temples. This temple would have been very magnificent, as its scale was huge as Kokubunji Temple and the seven-storied pagoda was built there.

According to the chronicle "Shoku Nihon Koki", the seven-storied pagoda was burn down by lightening in 835, and its rebuilding was applied and permitted after ten years from the destruction. In the early 10th century, the temple was gradually declined, as the divisional ditches of the precincts had been buried. In 1333, the temple was wholly destroyed by fire at the battle of Bubaigawara between Nitta Yoshisada and Kamakura shogunate. In 1335, Yakushi-do Hall was reconstructed by Nitta Yoshisada. The current Kokubunji Temple descends from the ancient Musashi Kokubunji Temple.

Kokubunji Temples were decided to be founded on a pure place by the imperial edict. Musashi Kokubunji is a fine place, as there are a lot of rich springs and greens from Kokubunji Terrace, which is important. By the way, the terrace as in Kokubunji area is called "Hake" in Japanese archaic word. The novel "Musashino Fujin" written by Ooka Shohei is the story which this place as a stage.

Preparation image of Musashi Kokubunji Temple Site; Photo credit: Musashi Kokubunji Temple Remains Museum

1 Musashi Kokubunji-ato, Tsuketari Tosan-do Musashi-michi-ato (Musashi Kokubunji Temple Site, Appendix: Tosan-do Musashi-michi Road Site)

National Historic Site
Designated on October 12, 1922
Additionally designated and changed item on August 5, 2010

Propery completed lecture hall;
Photo credit: Musashi Kokubunji Temple Remains Museum


Musashi Kokubun-niji-ato Site;
Photo credit: Musashi Kokubunji Temple Remains Museum

Musashi Province was connected far away to the capital of Nara by Tosan-do Road and its branch. Tosan-do Road ran through Omi, Mino, Shinano and Kozuke Provinces to Dewa and Mutsu Districts. To go to the capital of Musashi Province, people turned at the Nitta Station, Kozuke Province (current Ota City, Gunma Prefecture) and went south from there. On the way, Musashi Kokubunji Temple (monastery and nunnery) was built about 2km before the capital.

There is no precise record about the founding date of the temple, but it is estimated to be completed in the Tenpyo-hoji era (757-65 AD), according to the date of the roof-tiles with letters, the lacquered document and the style of roof-tiles. The development of the temple is divided into three stages; the founding stage (the first stage), the repair and expansion stage of the main buildings accompanied with the burning down and reconstruction of the seven-storied pagoda in the 9th century (the second stage) and the declined stage with the collapse of the governmental system from the 10th century to the 11th century (the third stage).

The monastery was built on the east of the national road "Tosan-do Musashi-michi Road". It consists of triple areas: center area, main buildings area and the other buildings area. The layout of the temple is Todai-ji Temple style; the south gate, the middle gate, the golden hall and the lecture hall are arranged in a line and the pagoda is built outside the corridor.

The nunnery was built on the west of the national road "Tosan-do Musashi-michi Road". It consists of double areas: center area and main buildings area. No pagoda was constructed. In the center area, the golden hall, the middle gate and the residence for nuns are identified in the excavations.

At present, Kokubunji City carries the project for restoring and maintaining Musashi Kokubunji-ato Site under the results of the excavations. In the monastery area, the lecture hall has been restored from 2013 for 2 years. Its stylobate is restored, and the trace of the building is indicated on the surface. The stylobate is a platform for the base of buildings. The edge of the stylobate of the lecture hall is revealed to be decorated with roof-tiles. In its restoration, the ancient roof-tiles are re-created and filled there. The genuine ancient roof-tiles from the excavations and the replicas that citizens made are partly used.

When going north from Kokubunji-ato site toward JR Nishikokubunji Station crossing to north for Municipal 4th Primary School on the right, and crossing the street, you will find an extremely wide sidewalk, which is about three times as wide as a roadway. This is the restored display of the national road "Tosan-do Musashi-michi Road", which was 12m in width and made straight. Let's walk on it, feeling the large size of the ancient road!

Opening Information of the Musashi Kokubunji Ato, Tsuketari Tosando Musashimichi Ato

Opening Days:
All year
Opening Times:
All day
No smokingToiletsAccessible facility