Sōji-ji (總持寺?) is one of two daihonzan (大本山?, "head temples") of the Sōtō school of Zen Buddhism. The other is Eiheiji temple in Fukui Prefecture. Fodor's calls it "one of the largest and busiest Buddhist institutions in Japan". The temple was founded in 740 as a Shingon Buddhist temple. Keizan, later known as Sōtō's great patriarch Taiso Jōsai Daishi, founded the present temple in 1321, when he renamed it Sōji-ji with the help and patronage of Emperor Go-Daigo. The temple has about twelve buildings in Tsurumi, part of the port city of Yokohama, one designed by the architect Itō Chūta.
The core of the temple consists of seven structures forming the so-called Shichidō garan. The sanmon gate, built in 1969, is, according to the temple's pamphlet the largest such structure in Japan. Itō Chūta (1867–1954) designed the Daiso-dō or Hattō, which honors Keizan and other founders, and the Senbutsujo, the hall used as the monks' main training center and to ordain monks. The Sanshōkaku, constructed in 1990 and equipped with computers and other modern amenities, is a visitors' center for practice and workshops for lay persons aimed at fulfilling Keizan Zenji's vow to help all sentient beings.
The Butsuden (Buddha Hall) enshrines a statue of Gautama Buddha (Shaka Nyorai). The Shōkurō contains the [[ja:梵鐘|bonshō]] bell, the drum, the cloud gong or umpan, and the wooden drum (moppan), used to signal the monks' daily routine. The Hōkō-dō is used for memorial rites to ancestors of lay persons, for whom the monks perform services. Emperor Go-Daigo, the temple's 14th-century patron, is buried at Sōji-ji. Visitors are not admitted to his mausoleum. Among outreach activities, the Sōji Gakuen Academy is a school system where the students study the Buddha's teaching. The academy has a kindergarten, middle school, high school, and university. Sōji also has child care and a hospital. The Koshakudai holds the monks' living quarters.