This temple is famous for the three 1300 year-old blue skinned Zao Gongen statues. Each fierce figure stands around seven metres tall and represents one of the three facets of the Buddha: past, present and future. They are protectors of the sacred mountains here, and important deities in Shugendo practice, an ancient mountain ascetic practice. The main hall, Zao-do, built in 1592, is said to be the second largest wooden structure in Japan, after Todaiji Temple. The statues are only on view during the spring and autumn.
One of the most unusual events at the temple is the Rengekai Toad Festival on July 7th. There is a local legend that a man who didn’t take his religious discipline seriously was changed into a toad. Eventually, a priest changed him back to human form. A portable shrine with a giant green toad is carried around the temple during this festival. You can see many toad and frog statues around the town in memory of this story.
Kinpusen-ji is one of the key temples of Shugendo mountain asceticism and offers training events from May through October. From the back of the temple grounds, you can walk up the main street past many restaurants and shops, up to Chikurin-In Temple and Garden, with views over the whole valley. Although it is possible to see Kinpusen-ji Temple as a day trip, it is better to stay overnight in the town, to experience all that the Mt Yoshino area has to offer.
- Venue Details & Access Info
2498 Yoshinoyama, Yoshino, Yoshino
From Kintetsu Yoshino ropeway Yoshinoyama Station:
- 10 minutes on foot from the station.
Related Events Yoshino Gongen Festival
- 金峯山寺 Kinpusen-ji Temple
- address 吉野郡吉野町吉野山2498 2498 Yoshinoyama, Yoshino, Yoshino
- Opening Time & Admissions
8:30 - 16:30 (last admisson 16:00)
- Contact Details