Founded towards the close of the Muromachi period (1336 to 1573) by influential monk Akao Doshu, this straw-thatch roofed temple is an important institution in Gokayama.
After its founding, the importance of the town grew, and the unique culture and traditions of the town flourished.
Even today, the town’s local priest spends a good part of the end of the year visiting homes within the town to share a sit-down shōjin ryōri meal with each household.
The temple also holds a morning prayer at 6:30am daily that is open to the public. The next-door Gyotokuji Museum (Gyotokuji Temple’s treasure house) offers excellent insight into the temple’s history (in Japanese mainly).