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Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples

Myokokuji Temple

Myokokuji Temple

Myokokuji Temple was constructed in 1562. Legend has it that the giant cycad trees on the temple's grounds were once transplanted to Azuchi Castle in accordance with the wishes of Oda Nobunaga but were subsequently returned to Sakai as they cried nightly of their desire to return. The trees have been designated a Natural Monument. The temple is also famous as the site where 11 Tosa samurai committed ritual suicide following the Sakai Incident in 1868.

  • Hours: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (reservation required)
  • Admission:¥400
  • Take the Hankai Line and get off at Myokokujimae stop.
  • Address: 4-1-4 Zaimoku-cho-Higashi, Sakai-ku, Sakai City
  • TEL 072-233-0369

Kakuoji Temple

Kakuoji Temple

Also known as Shochuzan Kakuoji Temple. Its founder Michimoto Kono, the head of a powerful Iyo family, converted to Buddhism under the monk Kakunyo and took the name Kakuo. Later head monk Kono Tetsunan introduced the writers Yosano Akiko and Yosano Tekkan, and there is a monument on the grounds with an inscribed poem commemorating Yosano Akiko. Every year a memorial service is observed on May 29, Akiko's birthday.

  • Hours/admission: None/free
  • Take the Hankai Line and get off at Shinmeicho stop.
  • Address: 3-1-49 Kuken-cho-Higashi, Sakai-ku, Sakai City
  • TEL 072-238-6835

Sugawara Shrine

Sugawara Shrine

Sugawara shrine is said to have originated in a festival celebrating a wooden statue of Sugawara-no-Michizane found washed ashore on a Sakai beach. The shine is variously known as Tenjinsan and Ebessan. The shrine is also well known as a prime spot for watching fireflies in the summer, and its Sakuramon Gate has been designated an official cultural property by Osaka Prefecture.

  • Hours/admission: None/free
  • Take the Hankai Line and get off at Hanadaguchi stop.
  • Address: 2-1-38 Ebisuno-cho-Higashi, Sakai-ku, Sakai City
  • TEL 072-232-2450

Aguchi Shrine

Aguchi Shrine

The only shrine that conforms to the Engi Code in the old city of Sakai, Aguchi Shrine enshrines the gods of Shiotsuji-no-oji-no-kami,Susano-o-no-mikoto, and Ikutama-no-mikoto. In the year 746, the monk Gyoki built Nembutsuji Temple on the current shrine's grounds. In 806, the monk Kukai added a pagoda, and the temple came to be known as Otera Temple. The Otera Picture Scrolls, a collection of tanka poems composed by the emperor Fushimi, and the Yoshimitsu dagger have been designated Important Cultural Properties.

  • Hours/admission: None/free
  • Take the Hankai Line and get off at Shukuin stop.
  • Address: 2-1-29 Kaino-cho-Higashi, Sakai-ku, Sakai City
  • TEL 072-221-0171

Nanshuji Temple

Nanshuji Temple

Originally built by Miyoshi Chokei in 1557 and founded by Dairin Soto, the 90th head priest of Daitokuji Temple, Nanshuji Temple burned to the ground during the battle fought between Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. It was rebuilt by Takuwan in 1617. On its grounds is a landscaped garden that has been designated a national scenic site, a pagoda built in memory of the Sen family, and the Jissoan teahouse.

  • Hours: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Admission: Adults ¥400, middle and high school students ¥300, children ¥200
  • Take the Hankai Line and get off at Goryomae stop.
  • Address: 3-1-2 Minamihatago-cho-Higashi, Sakai-ku, Sakai City TEL 072-232-1654

Daianji Temple

Daianji Temple

Founded by Tokushu Shiin during the Oei period (1394 to 1428), Daianji Temple features a main hall constructed entirely of cypress with an upper-level drawing room in the Japanese shosoin style. It was converted from an elegant private residence and houses sliding doors painted with scenes of cranes, pine trees, and wisteria that are believed to be the work of an early Edo period artist of the Kano School. The main hall and its wall paintings have been designated Important Cultural Properties.

  • Hours: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (reservation required)
  • Admission: ¥400
  • Take the Hankai Line and get off at Goryomae stop.
  • Address: 4-1-4 Minamihatago-cho-Higashi, Sakai-ku, Sakai City
  • TEL 072-238-1054

Mozu-Hachimangu Shrine

Mozu-Hachimangu Shrine

Mozu-Hachimangu Shrine is said to have been constructed in the time of the Kinmei Emperor (532 to 571). Standing in front of the shrine is a giant 800-year old camphor tree that has been designated a natural monument by Osaka Prefecture. The Tsukimi Festival is held every year on the day of the harvest moon with 17 large and small futondaiko floats.

  • Hours/admission: None/free
  • Take the JR Hanwa Line and get off at Mozu Station,
    or take the Nankai-Koya Line and get off at Mozu-Hachiman Station.
  • Address: 5-706 Mozuakahata-cho, Sakai-ku, Sakai City
  • TEL 072-252-1089

Hochigai Shrine

Hochigai Shrine

Long ago when travelers' journeys would take them in an unlucky direction, they would first set out in a direction other than their intended one. Built as a place for such travelers to pray, Hochigai Shrine is unusual in all Japan. At the Chimaki festival held every year on May 31, participants are given chimaki cakes wrapped in wild rice leaves.

  • Hours/admission: None/free
  • Take the Nankai-koya Line and get off at Sakaihigashi Station.
  • Address: 2-2-1 Kitamikunigaoka-cho, Sakai-ku, Sakai City
  • TEL 072-232-1216

Otori Shrine

Otori Shrine

The most important shrine in ancient Izumi, Otori Shrine is notable for its otori-style inner shrine, which is typical of ancient Japanese Shinto architecture. It is said that the mythical hero Yamatotakeru-no-Mikoto turned into a white swan at his death and last stopped at the site of Otori Shrine, prompting people living nearby to build the shrine to worship white swans. The shrine's grounds, which extend over more than 50,000 square meters, are known as "Chikusa-no-Mori" due to the seemingly endless variety of tree species found there. The shrine's iris garden features 100,000 flowers and is also well known.

  • Hours/admission: None/free
  • Take the JR Hanwa Line and get off at Otori Station.
  • Address: 1-1-2 Otorikita-machi, Nishi-ku, Sakai City
  • TEL 072-262-0040

Ebaraji Temple

Ebaraji Temple

Ebaraji Temple stands at the birthplace of Gyoki, a monk from the Nara period who is known as the "bodhisattva of wisdom." The temple is a popular destination for students taking entrance exams, who stuff handkerchiefs on which they have written prayers for good luck and success on their tests into cracks in the main hall's walls and columns. The temple is also famous for the great Otondo bonfire held on January 15 every year.

  • Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • admission: ¥200
  • Take the JR Hanwa Line and get off at Tsukuno Station.
  • Address: 1-8-20 Ebaraji-cho, Nishi-ku, Sakai City
  • TEL 072-271-1505

Sakurai Shrine

Sakurai Shrine

Called the "Hachiman of Niwadani," Sakurai Shrine has dignified wood and white plaster walls that are considered to be a Kamakura period architectural style. It is the only structure in Sakai to have been designated an important national building. The Ko-odori dance, an Intangible Cultural Asset, is performed every year on the first Sunday in October.

  • Hours/admission: None/free
  • Take the Nankai bus and get off at the Sakuraijinjamae stop.
  • Address: 645 Katakura, Minami-ku, Sakai City
  • TEL 072-297-0043

Tajihayahime Shrine

Tajihayahime Shrine

Located in Kozen Park, Tajihayahime Shrine is known as the god of childbirth, marriage, and warding of evil. The main hall, which has been designated an Important Cultural Property, features distinctive curved gables in the manner of Muromachi-period architecture as well as rare and colorful carvings of praying mantises, abalone, and conches. The shrine is also famous for its Japanese apricot (ume) and cherry trees.

  • Hours: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (reservation required)
  • Admission: Free
  • Take the Nankai bus and get off at the Miyayamadai-2cho stop.
  • Address: 2-3-1 Miyayamadai, Minami-ku, Sakai City
  • TEL 072-297-0726

Hodoji Temple

Hodoji Temple

This ancient temple was built in the year 670. Its grounds stretch out on the other side of a distinctive gate and include a refectory from the mid-Kamakura period that has been designated an Important Cultural Property as well as a pagoda with a Japanese-style first floor built in the Muromachi period and a Chinese-style second floor. The shrine is set amidst great natural beauty and stands across from the city Cemetery, which is famous for its cherry trees.

  • Hours/admission: None/free
  • Take the Nankai bus and get off at the Hachigamine stop.
  • Address: 401 Hachigamineji, Minami-ku, Sakai City
  • TEL 072-297-0705

Honganji Temple, Sakai Branch

Honganji Temple, Sakai Branch

The largest wooden structure in Sakai, the current main hall was rebuilt in 1825. It served as the offices of the Sakai prefectural government for a period of 10 years starting in 1871 and is also known as the "Northern Temple."

  • Hours/admission: None/free
  • Take the Hankai Line and get off at Shinmeicho stop.
  • Address: 3-1-10 Shinmei-cho-Higashi, Sakai-ku, Sakai City
  • TEL 072-232-4417

Hounji Temple

Hounji Temple

Hounji Temple is a temple of Zen Buddhism's Obaku sect, which was founded in 1672 by Egoku Domyo, one of the three great Obaku monks. Its 3,333 square meter grounds includes the Sanmon Gate; structures including Tennoden, Otono (main hall), Kaisando, and Yosenden; the chief priest's residence; and a bell tower. The temple provides a glimpse into the architectural organization of large Buddhist temples at the time, and the Otono main hall houses 3,333 statues of the Buddha. It is extremely famous for its many azaleas, the official flowering shrub of Sakai, and it receives more than 1,000 visitors a day during the peak flower-viewing season.

  • Hours/admission: None/free
  • Take the Kintetsu bus and get off at the Imai stop,
    or take the Nankai bus and get off at the Imaiminami stop.
  • Address: 192 Imai, Mihara-ku Sakai City
  • TEL 072-361-4419
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