The road from Taimadera Station to the temple runs straight as an arrow, lined with grand traditional homes and manicured trees. As you approach the main gate, the houses give way to small restaurants and sweets shops. Just beyond the gate is an attractive belfry, leading to the wide, low-slung main hall.
The main object of worship is an intricate mandala depicting the Pure Land (akin to the Buddhist heaven), said to have been woven by Princess Chujo in just one night with the help of Kannon, goddess of mercy, using lotus threads. Celebrated in literature and art, the princess had refused to become a consort of Emperor Junnin, choosing instead the life of a nun at Taimadera Temple. Her connection with the temple has made it popular with female worshippers and her life is celebrated every May 14, with dancers dressed as Bodhisattvas.
It is the only temple in Japan to have its original two pagodas, which date from around AD 710. The surrounding gardens are renowned for peonies in May and a large lotus pond which blooms in June. The temple offers activities including yoga classes and the copying of key figures from the mandala.
An easy 15 minutes walk from the station, Taimadera Temple can be experienced in two hours, leaving time to visit the Katsuragi City Sumo Museum Kehayaza.
- Cultural experiences offered: ¥400 (tea ceremony), ¥1,500 (shabutsu: the copying of Buddhist images )
- Venue Details & Access Info
1263 Taima, Katsuragi
From Kintetsu Taimadera Station:
15 minutes on foot from the station.
- 當麻寺 Taimadera Temple
- address 葛城市當麻1263 1263 Taima, Katsuragi
- Opening Time & Admissions
9:00 - 17:00
Open all year round
5 years and under: free
*Group discount available
Available Foreign Languages
No foreign language spoken (Japanese only)
- Contact Details