This Silla-era temple was founded in AD 645 by the Zen Master Jajang to enshrine relics of the historical Buddha. Although it fell victim to fires and was even flattened during the Korean War, one treasured structure that has survived from the Goryeo dynasty is the octagonal nine-storey pagoda in the main courtyard, with the figure of a kneeling bodhisattva before it. The newer buildings around it are decorated with intricate religious art.

There is a museum of Joseon-era Buddhist and the temple also runs a popular Templestay program, with a 3.50am wake-up and various programs if you wish to learn about Buddhist ritual and belief. From Jinbu bus terminal, 12 local buses per day run to Woljeong-sa (₩1900, 20 minutes).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Gangwon-do attractions

1. Gwaneum-am

1.05 MILES

This temple is named after and dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy (Gwaneum), worshipped by those seeking consolation or by women wanting children.

2. Sujong-am

3.84 MILES

A Buddhist temple within Odaesan National Park.

3. Sangwon-sa

4.05 MILES

Sangwon-sa's intricately decorated bronze bell was cast in AD 725 and is the oldest bell in Korea (and one of the largest as well). Another prized object…

5. Guryong Pokpo

6.74 MILES

A group of nine waterfalls, each representing a dragon that occupied it, according to one of the legends that swirls about.

6. Geumgang-sa

7.44 MILES

A Buddhist temple within Odaesan National Park.

7. Ojukheon

15.92 MILES

Revered as the birthplace of the paragon of Korean womanhood, Sin Saimdang (1504–51), and her son, the philosopher and government official Yi Yulgok (1536…

8. Gangneung Seongyojang

16.47 MILES

Dating to the late Joseon dynasty, this national cultural property was for 300 years the home of a yangban (aristocratic) family. It was built for a…