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Shitennoji Temple

Find a moments peace in Japan’s first Buddhist temple and explore its turtle-filled gardens and towering pagodas.

Take a few hours to discover the wonders of the Shitennoji Temple, one of the world’s most spectacular Buddhist temples. Stroll around its impressive, quiet grounds, see authentic Buddhist artifacts and learn about the journey of the religion in Japan.

Prince Shotoku built the temple in 593 after a great war between practicers of Buddhism and believers in traditional Japanese gods. It was intended to display the glory and power of the newly-introduced Buddhism and much of the original layout and design remains today.

Soak in the majesty of the inner precinct, with its towering five-storied pagoda in the center of its courtyard. Ascend the stairs to capture the modest view from the top, but be sure to watch your head, as most doorways are quite small. Visit the Main Hall to see Prince Shotoku himself enshrined in statue form, and wall murals that tell the story of the Shakyamuni Buddha. Visit early in the morning to see the sunrise over the buildings at the temple’s quietest time.

After seeing the buildings, head to the peaceful Gokuraku-jodo Garden, which was designed based on the Western Gardens of Buddhist mythology. Take a quiet stroll around its walkways and watch turtles swim lazily in calm ponds.

Take a moment to visit the temple’s treasure house, and see authentic paintings, scripts and artifacts. Exhibits here change often, so check online before you go.

Visit the temple grounds on the 21st or 22nd of each month when they transform into a market place. Local stalls sell souvenirs, food and delicious cold soba, a traditional Japanese noodle soup.

The Temple is open year-round until 4pm each day, except in summer months, when it is open until 4:30. The inner precinct, Gokuraku-jodo Garden, and treasure houses charge separate but inexpensive fees. Get to the temple by metro, or drive there and use its ample parking.


Guide to Exploring Shitennoji Temple


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Top Shitennoji Temple Hotel Deals

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Swissotel Nankai Osaka SG$224
Swissotel Nankai Osaka

Swissotel Nankai Osaka

5-1-60 Namba Chuo-ku, Osaka, Osaka-fu
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Namba, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Namba Grand Kagetsu Theater and Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. Kuromon Ichiba Market and Nipponbashi are also within 10 minutes. Namba Station (Nankai) and Osaka-Namba Station are within a 5-minute walk.

    APA Hotel Namba-Ekihigashi SG$49
    APA Hotel Namba-Ekihigashi

    APA Hotel Namba-Ekihigashi

    4-29 Sennichimae, Namba, Osaka, Osaka
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Namba, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Namba Grand Kagetsu Theater and Kuromon Ichiba Market. Tsutenkaku Tower and Abeno Harukas are also within 2 mi (3 km). Nippombashi Station and Namba Station (Nankai) are within a 5-minute walk.

      Hotel Taiyo SG$36
      Hotel Taiyo

      Hotel Taiyo

      1-2-23, Taishi, Nishinari-ku, Osaka, Osaka-fu
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Minami, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Spa World, Tsutenkaku Tower and Tennoji Zoo. Nipponbashi and Abeno Harukas are also within 15 minutes. Dobutsuen-mae Station is only a 2-minute walk and Shin-imamiya-ekimae Station is 3 minutes.

        Tennoji Lagoon Hotel SG$36
        Tennoji Lagoon Hotel

        Tennoji Lagoon Hotel

        1-23 Chausuyamacho, Tennoji-ku, Osaka, Osaka
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Tennoji, this ryokan is within a 10-minute walk of Osaka City Museum of Fine Art, Shitenno-ji Temple and Tennoji Park. Abeno Harukas and Tennoji Zoo are also within 15 minutes. Tennoji-ekimae Station is 7 minutes by foot and Tennoji Station is 6 minutes.

          ibis Styles Osaka Namba SG$69
          ibis Styles Osaka Namba

          ibis Styles Osaka Namba

          2-13 Soemon-cho, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Osaka-fu
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Namba, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Doton Plaza, Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and Dotonbori Glico Sign. Amerikamura and Kuromon Ichiba Market are also within 10 minutes. Nippombashi Station is 5 minutes by foot and Nagahoribashi Station is 9 minutes.

            Shitennoji Crystalhotel
            Shitennoji Crystalhotel

            Shitennoji Crystalhotel

            1-3-7, Daido, Tennoji-ku, Osaka, Osaka
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Tennoji, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Shitennoji Temple, Tsutenkaku Tower and Nipponbashi. Abeno Harukas and Tennoji Zoo are also within 15 minutes. Shitennoji-mae Yuhigaoka Station is 9 minutes by foot and Teradacho Station is 13 minutes.

              Hotel Bureau Shitennoji
              Hotel Bureau Shitennoji

              Hotel Bureau Shitennoji

              1-3-19, Shitennoji, Tennoji-ku, Osaka
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Tennoji, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Shitennoji Temple, Tsutenkaku Tower and Kuromon Ichiba Market. Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and Osaka Museum of History are also within 3 mi (5 km). Shitennoji-mae Yuhigaoka Station is 6 minutes by foot and Momodani Station is 14 minutes.

                Intercity Osaka Service Apartment
                Intercity Osaka Service Apartment

                Intercity Osaka Service Apartment

                Shitennoji 1-14-25, Tennoji-ku, Osaka
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Tennoji, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Shitennoji Temple, Nipponbashi and Tsutenkaku Tower. Abeno Harukas and Tennoji Zoo are also within 15 minutes. Shitennoji-mae Yuhigaoka Station is 6 minutes by foot and Ebisucho Station is 12 minutes.