Rinsenji Temple is renown in Japan as the place where Uesugi Kenshin received much of his education. Uesugi Kenshin is a revered samurai warlord who ruled over the province of Echigo (Joetsu area and surrounds) during the Sengoku (a time of mass civil war) period in Japan. He will well known as a ferocious leader who led his forces many times into battle with the Takeda to the south in Shinano – Kai region (now Nagano and Yamanashi).

To ensure Uesugi Kenshin developed as a leader and warrior, he was removed from the family and entrusted to the monks of Rinsenji Temple, who educated him and taught him martial arts and Zen.

The temple was built in 1497 at a time when Buddhism was growing stronger in Japan. Much different from the peaceful monks we envisage today, Buddhism grew to be quite militaristic, and became a rival to the power of the Daimyo (local warlords) of Japan.

A trip to Rinsenji offer a look at ancient Japanese architecture, and a trip into the past.

It can easily be combined into a day trip with a visit to Takada Castle.


Rinsenji Temple is 30 minutes walk from Kasugayama Station.

From Myoko Kogen, take the Tokitetsu Haneuma line to Kasugayama.

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