Story of Shorinji Temple

Shorinji is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect. It was established in 712 as a place to pray for the prosperity of the Fujiwara clan, a powerful family closely connected with the imperial court. Due to damage sustained from multiple fires over the centuries, all of Shorinji’s buildings were rebuilt in the eighteenth century. Today, the temple houses a number of treasures, including an eighth-century Eleven-Headed Kannon statue, listed as a National Treasure.

Situated in front of Mt. Ogura, a mountain celebrated in early Japanese literature, Shorinji commands a spectacular view of the ancient region of Yamato, the cradle of Japanese civilization and Buddhism. The Hashihaka burial mound (kofun), thought by some researchers to be that of Queen Himiko, a third-century monarch of the first Japanese dynasty, is visible in the distance. Mt. Miwa, the site of Omiwa Jinja, one of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines, lies to the east of the tomb.

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    From mid November through early February, the red berries of the heavenly bamboo, glabrous sarcandra herb, and Christmas berry plants bring beautiful color to these grounds.

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    Hashihaka burial mound (kofun). This is thought to possibly be the grave of Empress Himiko of the Yamataikoku state. It is 272 meters in length and was built in the latter half of the 3rd century.

Precincts

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    Temple gate. Located halfway up a small mountain, Shorinji Temple is a mountain temple with a quiet air to it.

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    There is a great view of Mt. Miwa and the Yamato basin from the Main Hall.

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    Main Hall. It enshrines the principal image of the Buddha, the statue of Koyasu Enmei Jizo.

Address
692 Shimo, Sakurai, Nara 633-0042 , Japan
Inquiries
Tel: 0744-43-0005
Visiting Information
Hours: 9:00 a.m. ~ 4:30 p.m.
* Open throughout the year.
General Entrance Fee:
Adults (Junior High School Students and Older) 400 yen
Elementary School Students 200 yen
Groups (30 people or more) 360 yen
During Public Display of Mandala in November:
Adults (Junior High School Students and Older) 500 yen
Elementary School Students 250 yen
Groups (30 people or more) 450 yen
Access Information
From Kintetsu Sakurai Station or JR Sakurai Station, take the Nara Kotsu bus for “Tanzan-jinja” and get off at “Shorinji”. It is a short walk from there.