5 most important Shrines and Temples of Nagoya

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  • 1. Atsuta shrine


    Author’s photo

    This is one of the most famous and important Shinto shrines in Nagoya. Atsuta shrine is said to be the second most important shrine of all Japan and is devoted to Amaterasu, the Goddess of Sun. This shrine is believed to be the home of a famous imperial sword called Kusanagi no mitsurugi. Only the highest priests and the Imperial family are allowed to see the sword.

    A lot of people visit this place every year, especially during the New Year’s. It has a traditional Japanese appearance with the buildings placed in an area with long pavements adorned with trees, Japanese style gardens, small bridges, statues, lamps and etc. Even though the place is situated in the middle of the city, inside the yard, everything seems really quiet. Like every other Japanese shrine, there is a trough of cold water with wooden ladles laid upside down on a rack over it. There is a large building with its gate fenced, where people throw coins and pray. The shrine area where the sacred sword is kept is called Betsugu Hakkengu. There is another building at the left side of the shrine yard, and it is called Kamichikama Jinja. There is a festival called Rei Sai, conducted here during the month of June every year.

    Access: Walking distance from JR Atsuta station. 5 min by foot from Jingu Mae subway Station on Meitetsu line. Walking distance from Jingu Nishi station on Meijo line.

    2. Osu Kannon temple


    Author’s photo

    Osu Kannon is situated near Fushimi Station. It is a Buddist temple with Kannonsama or Kanzeon-bosatsu, who is the goddess of mercy. The big statue of the main deity along with a number of small statues of Buddha lined up in the temple attracts a lot of visitors to this place. The colorful reddish appearance of the temple with a number of stairs leading up to it, as the temple being situated high from the ground level, it is really a place a lot of visitors choose as their destination when coming to Nagoya. There is a pagoda and a bell tower very near to the temple, similar to the ones in other Buddhist temples. There is also a street with a flea market held on every 18th day of a month, which is the main attraction of this area. Osu Kannon’s flea market and the street are among the most visited areas of Nagoya. The shopping arcade of Osu Kannon has around 400 shops, including electronic shops, souvenirs, clothes and etc. Cuisines from various countries are also available on this street!

    Access: 5-minute walk from Kamimaezu subway station on Tsurumai and Meijo line, or Osu Kannon station on Tsurumai line.

    3. Nittaiji temple

    The name Nittaiji literally means Japan-Thai temple and it always represents the harmony between the two countries. It is the only temple of Japan which is not under any specific Buddhist school, but it is managed by 19 Buddhist schools that take turns every 3 years. The main gate of the temple has the statues of two Buddhists saints named Ananda (Anan-sonja) and Mahakasyapa (Kasho-sonja). The most important feature of this temple is that it has the remaining bones of Lord Buddha, taken from India and gifted to some Buddhists Japanese monks by Thai King Chulalonkorn. There is also a Thai style Buddha statue in this temple, which was also given as a present by the King Chulalonkorn. Later the grandson, King Bhumibol Adulyadej gave golden inscriptions in Thai saying “Buddha Sakyamuni” which is also placed at the entrance of the temple hall. The bone repository of The Great Buddha is situated in a pillar named “Hoanto” near the cemetery. Nearby, there is a statue of the King Chulalonkorn himself.

    Access: 5-minute walk from Kakuozan subway station on Higashiyama line, Nagoya.

    4. Koshoji Temple

    It is a very large temple with a large yard that has a number of statues, cemetery, and a lot more. The path to the temple has a lot of small and big shops selling vegetables, foods, clothes, and souvenirs. This temple holds the oldest wooden pagoda in Aichi prefecture. Just like Osu Kannon and Nittaiji temples, this temple holds a flea market every 5th and 13th day of the month. The main hall of the temple is dedicated to Buddha’s afterlife known as Amida Nyorai. There is a small temple inside the main hall, and it is believed that praying here can provide you a painless death. There’s a garden nearby with modern features and a bamboo grove, the entrance fee for this garden is 500 yen. There is a huge statue of Dainichi Nyorai at the back of the temple. Koshoji is a popular place for conducting Japanese wedding ceremonies. They also hold tea ceremony and the biggest festival with 1000 lanterns!

    Access: Walking distance from Yagoto subway station of Meijo or Tsurumai line of Nagoya.

    5. Banshoji temple

    Banshoji is a small temple located on the Osu Kannon street and it is situated in a modern building. It has fox guards at its entrance and a number of paper lanterns, which only increase the beauty of this small temple. The main hall with five floors has traditional items displayed on the basement and the fourth floors, while the fifth one holds the bell. The third floor holds the actual worship hall or “Honden”. This temple has the flea market at its grounds on the 18th of every month. There is a show displaying life of Oda Nobunaga at various time slots.

    Access: 5-minute walk from Kamimaezu Station on Tsurumai and Meijo subway lines, Nagoya.

    1. james goater says:

      One minor point and one major correction. The minor point is that a more impressive temple than Banshoji would be easy to name — Kenchuji in Higashi-ku, or Higashi Betsuin south of Osu, for instance. Both the latter temples would impress visitors far more than Banshoji. Secondly, and of major importance, far from being “one of the most ancient temples of Japan”, as your text states, the temple of Nittaiji is one of the newest, being founded as recently as the early 20thy century. Thanks.

      1. Japan Info says:

        Hello. Thank you for your comment and for letting us know about the error. We have already fixed the error in the article, but due to our server’s specifications, it may take up to 24 hours for the changes to be reflected.

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