Keihanshin (京阪神) Episode 4: Shiten-no-Ji Temple (四天王寺)

After taken my meal at Kuromon market, I head down to the most popular temple in Osaka – The Shtennoji Temple, which literally mean Four Heavenly King Temple. It was built by Prince Shotoku in 593 AD. Prince Shotoku had made a lot of cultural contribution to Japan, particularly in promoting Buddhism. In case you are wondering his appearance, you can find out from the 1000 Japanese Yen.

The Shitennoji Temple is the first Buddhist temple administered by government. More info can be found from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shitenn%C5%8D-ji

The five storied pagoda, called Gojunoto (五重塔) with each story represent the five elements: earth, water, fire, air and heaven. Prince Shotoku had placed 6 set of Buddha Relics and the hair of the prince himself.The Pagoda has housed the fresco of Sakyamuni Buddha (釋迦), Maitreya (彌勒), Medicine Buddha (藥師) and Amitābha (阿彌陀).

The Golden Pavilion or Kondo (金門), despite the name suggested, is not golden at all. But, inside the pavilion you can find the golden statue of Amitābha (阿彌陀). “Amitābha” is translatable as “Infinite Light,” hence Amitābha is often called “The Buddha of Infinite Light.” Also, you can find the statue of The Bodhisattva of Compassion (觀音菩薩). Japanese called it Juichimen Kannon Bosatsu because the statue has eleven faces. No pictures of the statue as photography is prohibited.

The well of dragon, not named after the statue of dragon, but rather because right above the well, there is a fresco of dragon. And you look down to the well, you can see the reflection of the dragon on the surface of the water.

Some lantern which I believe are contributed by the Buddhist here.

The Rokujidou (六時台) house the statue of Medicine Buddha (藥師)and Four Heaven King. Every 14th January, the Doya Doya (http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/search/detail/event_5.html)  is held here.

Tortoise as lazing in the ponds in front the Rokujidou.

The miniature statues of the monks.

The stone wheel, Rinneto, is a spinning stone wheel with Heart Sutra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_Sutra) carved to the stone wheel. The stone wheel also represent the endless cycle of reincarnation.

The Saidamon Gate where I am taking the exit of the temple, towards Shinsekai.

There are 4 Wheel of Dharma (Tenporin) attached to the 4 pillars of the gates. The Wheel of Dharma represents Buddha’s teaching to the path of enlightenment. Spinning the wheel is as good as orally chanting the prayers.

Information:

Nearest subway: Shitennojimae Yushigaoka (四天王寺前夕陽ヶ丘駅)

Operating Hours: 8:30 ~ 16:30, 16:10 stop selling ticket (From April to September); 8:30 ~ 16:00, 15:40 stop selling ticket (October to March)

Admission: Free admission with Osaka Unlimited Pass

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