Golden Week Day 1: OSAKA

Nearest station: Shitennoji-mae-Yuhigaoka station

admission: Y 300 (main Garan only), Y 700 (combo ticket)

Built in 593 AD, Shitenno-ji is the oldest Imperial temple in Japan.  Shitenno refers to the four Buddhist Heavenly Kings.  The temple is said to be built as Prince Shotoku’s thanksgiving for helping him defeat the Mononobe clan. The temple grounds have actually been reconstructed several times. In spite of this, the different structures in the temple complex still reflect the original Buddhist architectural style of its time.

entrance to the temple grounds

little Buddha statues at the entrance

I arrived so early (I had to wait for a couple of minutes before they could let me in), that the vendors selling different goods (from food to used books) were still busy setting up their stalls at the entrance. I also found it difficult to have my picture taken because there was no one else there. But I don’t think I would have wanted it any other way. Exploring the temple grounds in solitude really refreshed my mind.

at the main Garan

Gold (-covered?) lanterns line the corridors


The complex consists of the Gojunoto (5-story pagoda), Kondo (Golden Hall), a turtle pond, Roku-ji do(Worship hall), and the garden of Gokuraku-jodo (which represents the Buddhist paradise). There is also a treasure hall that houses ancient works of art, but I wasn’t able to visit it anymore.

Rokuji-do (worship hall)

A closer look at the worship hall. The old wooden structure is still reminiscent of the original architecture.

One of the stands in the Turtle Pond. Turtles, which symbolizes longevity, are usually found in shrines and temples.

Kondo Hall (which was supposed to be golden, haha. I guess age does that to you.)



About celinecats

Food lover. Traveler. Photography enthusiast. Physicist.
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