Denomination: Soto (曹洞宗)
Main Image: Shaka Nyorai (釈迦如来)
Location: Kakizaki, Shimoda (下田市柿崎)
Although the origins of its foundation are unknown, it is believed that there was originally a Shingon monastery here some time near the end of the Muromachi Period from 1573-1592. After this the main hall, living quarters, and bell and bell tower were completed.
In 1856, Townsend Harris entered Shimoda Port and opened the first American
Consulate in Japan. Today Gyokusenji is recognized as an important national historical
and cultural asset.
During his presidency, former US president Jimmy Carter visited the temple.
Resting at Gyokusenji are the remains of some of the crew of the first American expedition to Japan led by Commodore Perry in 1853 as well as some members of a Russian vessel, the Diana.