Shokokuji belongs to the Five Great Zen Temples of Kyoto. The Five Great Zen Temples were built during the medieval Muromachi Period. Today, Shokokuji is the main temple of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism, Shokokuji School. Along with the famous Kinkakuhi (The Golden Temple) and Ginkakuji (The Silver Temple), there are 100 sub-temples of this sect.

Ownership of these two jewels of Kyoto tourism makes Shokokuji the wealthiest temple in the city. Beautiful collections of treasures and cultural assets belonging to Shokakuji are displayed in the Jotenkaku Museum.