A short bus ride from Sakurai Station, followed by another brief but steep walk up a narrow road, takes you to Shōrinji, a hidden gem of a temple on Ogura Hill. The stone pathway leading to the main building is strangely narrow, just wide enough to walk two abreast. Coming from Kyoto, where visitor-ready, more spacious temple gardens are customary, I felt as though as I was entering a private garden. The Jizo bodhisattva statue in the main hall is a stunner; a short walk along a flight of stairs and a corridor takes you to the hall where a 1300-year old Kannon statue is displayed.
Step outside the main hall to the wooden verandah overlooking the mountains, where the temple staff have thoughtfully provided woven mats to sit on. During the warmer seasons it’s a lovely place to meditate, or simply enjoy the view.
Established by Joe, Fujiwara-no-Kamatari's eldest son, as the branch temple of Myoraku-ji (Tanzan Shrine) in AD 712. Widely known as the masterpiece of Tenpyo era sculpture, wood-core dry lacquer standing statue of the Eleven-faced Kannon (National treasure) is exalted by Tetsuro Watsuji in his book "Koji Junrei" (Ancient temple pilgrimage). Today, it is still enshrined in its form back then. Made in Edo era, a full-scale Koyasu Enmei Jizo principal statue is visited by many who pray for the safe delivery of a child as well as the pregnancy. Located half way up the foot of Tonomine, a whole view of Yamato Basin including Mt. Miwa and Hashihaka Tumulus can be seen from the precinct.
Accepting only Japanese
●Address/319 Tonomine, Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture,633-0032
●Holidays/Open all year round
●Admission/adults（junior middle school students and above) 400yen; elementary school students 200yen
(During the Mandala exhibition in November: adults (middle school students and above) 500yen; elementary school students 250yen)
◆Access/Near "Shorinji" bus stop, which can be reached from JR/Kintetsu "Sakurai" Station on the bus bound for "Tanzanjinja" Station.
From JR Sakurai Station 10 minutes by taxi from the station.
Nearby spot information
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