Shiten’no-ji Temple

Osaka, Kansai

Ancient Chinese style temple layouts abound. Beautiful, historical Buddhist architecture from the 6th and 7th centuries.

Shiten’no-ji, located in Osaka, is the oldest temple in Japan. Prince Shotoku-taishi, a regent and statesman known for his activities from the latter half of the 6th century into early in the 7th century, is said to have built this temple. He is also known for his profound Buddhist faith when Buddhism was still not widespread in Japan.

With its middle gate, tower, main hall and lecture hall arrangned from south to north in a beeline, which is known as “Shiten’no-ji type temple layout” modeled after the then Chinese style of architecture, the Shiten’no-ji Temple typifies the Buddhist structures built in the Asuka Period from the late 6th century through the early 7th century together with the Horyu-ji Temple, a World Cultural Heritage, in Nara. Soon afer its erection, the temple had a free dispensary (Seyaku-in) and other welfare facilities set up in its precincts to give the poor free medicines and treatment and provide free accommodations for the aged without family and infants, opening the way to public welfare service in Japan.

In January, there is “Doya-Doya,” a festival in which the young scramble for paper charms. Autumn is the time when “Shiten’no-ji Wasso, ” a festival reproducing a bit of the history of cultural interchange between the ancient Korean Peninsula and Japan, takes place.


1-11-18 Shitennoji, Tennoji-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Admission Fee
300 yen (regular fee)
[Rail]Subway Higashi-Umeda Station/Subway Tanimachi Line/12 min./Shitennojimae-Yuhigaoka Station/On foot/5 min.

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