Known as the “tiger temple” for its many legends and tiger figures, Shigisan Chogosonshi-ji Temple is popular with kids. Following a winding path through the forest, you encounter Fukutora, the world’s largest papier-mâché tiger, guarding the entrance. The temple complex stretches out in several directions, with many sub-temples and Shukubo, temple lodgings, where you can stay overnight. You can spend a pleasant hour or two exploring.
Just past the lantern-lined entrance is a brightly painted tiger tunnel, Santora No Fuku Tainai Meguri, which supposedly makes one strong and brave if you walk through it. Inside, it’s dimly lit and a little spooky, but fun. Above the tunnel, the main hall sits high on the mountain, offering valley views from its wide verandas. In the springtime, it appears to be floating on clouds of cherry blossoms.
The temple gets its tiger image from Prince Shotoku, who was at war with the Mononobe clan in the 6th century. He came here to pray to Bishamonten (protector of warriors and guardian of Buddhism) for victory, praying in the year of the tiger, on the day and the hour of the tiger, and he kept praying until his troops were victorious. This temple was built in gratitude.
There is a legend that in the 9th Century it was home to a monk with a magic rice bowl that would fly down to the storehouse of a wealthy merchant to fill up with rice. This and other amazing stories are depicted on the manga-like Shigisan-Engi-Emaki, an illustrated scroll which is on view each autumn.
Nearby, you can visit Shigisan Nodokamura, a popular farm with animals and strawberry picking. The Shigisan Kanko Hotel offers elegant lunches and onsen bathing. Make a day of it by visiting nearby Mt Ikoma, famed for its night views and children’s amusement park.
KANSAI NARA Treasure Travel
Experience temple life with an overnight stay and tea ceremony
Last update: 2016-11-10
- Venue Details & Access Info
2280-1 Shigisan, Heguricho, Ikoma
From JR Oji Station:
- 13 minutes by taxi from the station.
Related Venues Shigisan Senjuin Temple (Shukubo)
Shigisan Gyokuzoin Temple (Shukubo)
- 信貴山朝護孫子寺 Shigisan Chogosonshi-ji Temple
- address 生駒郡平群町信貴山2280-1 2280-1 Shigisan, Heguricho, Ikoma
- Opening Time & Admissions
9:00 - 17:00
Open all year round
*Group discount available
Available Foreign Languages
Information in English
- Contact Details