Daihonzan Nakayamadera Temple in Takarazuka City is an ancient temple said to have been established by Prince Shotoku Taishi about 1,400 years ago. Long known as a temple to pray for successful conception and safe delivery of children, it is said to have been a place of worship by the Imperial household, as well as samurai families including those of Minamoto no Yoritomo and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The many buildings and halls within the spacious grounds are places not only for worship, but also serve to bring us closer to Japanese history and traditional culture. Seasonal scenery including sakura (cherry blossoms), plums, wisteria, and ginkgo trees are a delight year-round.
At the entrance stands the Sanmon, a two-storied gate with a roof of alternating flat and round tiles, now designated as a Hyogo Prefectural Cultural Property. Statues of the wrathful Nio gods are enshrined on either side of the gate to ward off evil from entering the grounds. Once, in the past, the faraway sea of Osaka Bay was visible from the lookout atop Sanmon called “Bokairo.”
Hondo (Main Hall)
In the Main Hall of Nakayamadera Temple is enshrined the centerpiece of the temple, the statue of Juichimen Kannon (the statue of the eleven-headed Kannon Bodhisattva), a National Cultural Treasure. Normally hidden from view, it is revealed only on the 18th of each month.
Hoshikudari Daieshiki (Star Fall Grand Memorial Ceremony)
In addition, on August 9 every year, the Star Fall Grand Memorial Ceremony is held when 33 Kannons are welcomed at the Main Hall of Nakayamadera Temple. It is said that a visit to Nakayamadera Temple on this day bestows the same merit as 46,000 days of Nakayamadera Temple visits.
* The scale of the 2021 “Star Fall Grand Memorial Ceremony” was reduced due to the coronavirus situation.
The brilliantly colored five-storied pagoda stands out in the grounds. Burnt down in a war about 400 years ago, it was rebuilt in 2017 and is named Shoryuto (“Blue Dragon Tower”) for its distinctive blue color, rare in Japan.
Okunoin is located on a mountain road about 2km from the main hall. On the west side of the Haiden (Hall of Worship), there is a freshwater spring called “Swan Water,” where many people fill their water bottles, seeking benefits.
Guardian Deities of the Zodiac
On the grounds is a sanctuary where Mamorihonzon, the Buddhas connected to the birth-year zodiac, are enshrined. Why not find the Buddha of your birthday?
Sojiin, the temple of the Year of the Rabbit and the Year of the Rooster
Kezoin, the temple of the Year of the Dog and the Year of the Boar
Hozoin, the temple of the Year of the Sheep and the Year of the Monkey
Jojuin, the temple of the Year of the Ox and the Year of the Tiger
Kannon-in, the temple of the Year of the Dragon and the Year of the Snake
Jurojindo, the hall of the Year of the Horse
Daikokudo, the hall of the Year of the Rat
Lotus Rice from Cafe Bonten
The “lotus rice” served at the Cafe Bonten on the temple grounds is a famous specialty of Nakayamadera Temple. The glutinous rice is flavored with ginkgo nuts, fried tofu, pickled snow peas and wolfberries. Also available for takeout.
Elevators and Escalators are Available
The precincts are fully equipped with escalators, elevators, baby seats, nursing rooms, diaper changing tables, etc., making it easily accessible for those accompanied by small children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
Beyond being a place of worship, the buildings of Nakayamadera Temple are various and attractive, making it an ideal place for a leisurely stroll through the temple grounds!
Taiganto (Great Wish Tower)
Gohyaku Rakando (Hall of 500 Arhats)
There is also a place to catch the sweeping panorama of Takarazuka City.
Daihonzan Nakayamadera Temple
Address: 2-11-1 Nakayamadera, Takarazuka City, Hyogo
Access: 1-minute walk from Hankyu Nakayama-kannon Station
10-minute walk from JR Nakayamadera
Takarazuka City Tourism Ambassadors talk about the charm of the city
For other great spots in Takarazuka♪