20110430 - Osaka - Tennoji Ward - Shitenno-ji Temple
Shitennoji Temple (四天王寺)
Shitennoji Temple was the first Buddhist temple in Japan. It was originally built in 593 by Prince Regent Shotoku Taishi. In 587, when he was only 14 years old, together with his father-in-law, Soga no Umako, head of the most powerful clan Soga, fought against Mononobe no Moriya, head of the Mononobe clan, who was against the introduction of Buddhism into Japan. The prince prayed for help to the Shitenno (Four Buddhist Heavenly Guardian Kings) and promised them to build an Imperial Temple in their honor if the Shitenno helped him to defeat the enemies. His army became victorious thus he constructed a temple and named it Shitennoji (the Temple of the Four Heavenly Buddhist Guardians). At the side of the Torii Gate in front of the Great West Gate, there is a stone monument which reads : " The Buddhism arrived here for the first time in Japan". Many buildings were destroyed several times, by fires, civil wars, typhoons, earthquakes and the U.S. bombings in 1945 during the World War II and were rebuilt in 1963.
Address: 1-11-18 Shitennoji, Tennoji-ku, Osaka-shi
Access: 8 min walk from Tennoji Station (JR Osaka Loop Line)
Opening hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm, 7 days a week
Admission: 300 yen