Japan Osaka Tennoji

Shitennoji Temple

Historic site of Japanese Buddhism, established by Prince Shotoku

Photo of Shitennoji Temple, Japan (Shitennō-ji in Osaka, Osaka prefecture, Japan 四天王寺。 所在地は大阪府大阪市。 Camera: Sony DSLR-A100 by 663highland)

Shitennoji Temple, established by Prince Shotoku in 593, is a key site in the history of Japanese Buddhism. As one of the oldest officially-administered temples in Japan, it stands in Osaka as a historic site encompassing centuries of Buddhist tradition and architecture. The temple’s dedication to the Four Heavenly Kings and its history of reconstructions contribute to its significance.

About Shitennoji Temple

Founded by Prince Shotoku, an influential figure in the spread of Buddhism in Japan, Shitennoji Temple is is widely regarded as the oldest officially-administered Buddhist temple in Japan. Prince Shotoku, serving as a regent for Empress Suiko, played a pivotal role in the adoption of Buddhism. Shitennoji, dedicated to the Four Heavenly Kings, reflects Prince Shotoku’s devotion.

Shitennoji has undergone reconstructions due to disasters like fires and wars, with efforts to preserve its style. The architecture features the Main Hall, the Five-storied Pagoda, and the Gokuraku-jodo Garden, inspired by the Western Paradise of the Amida Buddha.

Historically, the temple has embraced contributions from various Buddhist sects, with notable figures such as Saicho and Kukai associated with it. After World War II, Shitennoji became ecumenical, showcasing its role as a spiritual center. It serves as a cultural venue, hosting events and educational programs.

Visitors can visit the temple’s treasure museum, which contains important artifacts. The grounds are used for festivals that offer insights into traditional practices. The peaceful setting offers a respite from urban Osaka.

The temple complex is notable for several features, including the Golden Pavilion with the image of Bodhisattva Kannon and the Kameido hall with its unique stonework. Shitennoji remains an important site for understanding Japan’s religious and historical landscape.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Shitennoji Temple

T 26

Shitennōji-mae Yūhigaoka
 Tanimachi Line

 5-10 minute walk (700m)
M 23

 Midosuji Line + 4 more

 10-20 minute walk (1.2km)
O 02

JR Teradachō
 JR Osaka Loop Line

 10-20 minute walk (1.3km)
S 18

Tanimachi Kyūchōme
 Sennichimae Line + 1 more

 10-20 minute walk (1.5km)
NK 02

Nankai Imamiyaebisu
 Nankai Main Line + 1 more

 10-20 minute walk (1.6km)

Around Shitennoji Temple

Shitennoji Temple

Buddhist Temple in Osaka

open 8:30am - 4:30pm (varies)
closed Irregularly


四天王寺, 大阪

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Updated 14 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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