Nagoya Temples & Shrines
- Atsuta Shrine
- Toganji Temple
- Koshoji Temple
- Osu Kannon Temple
- Banshoji Temple
- Nittaiji Temple
- Higashi Betsuin Temple
- Arako Kannon
- Toyokuni Shrine
- Other Temples & Shrines in Nagoya
- Japan Temples & Shrines
Nagoya Temples 名古屋
The following is a list of the major temples and shrines in Nagoya, with photographs and explanations.
Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya holds the imperial sword
Atsuta Shrine, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Atsuta Shrine 熱田神宮
Atsuta Shrine aka Atsuta Sama (Venerable Atsuta) or Miya (the Shrine), is one of Nagoya's top attractions along with Nagoya Castle and the Tokugawa Art Museum. Atsuta Shrine is an important shrine in Japanese history as it is believed to date from the 1st century. The presiding shrine deity is Atsuta-no-Ohkami. Atsuta Shrine (lit. "Hot Field Shrine") is considered one of the most prestigious shrines in Japan as it houses the kusanagi-no-tsurugi ("Grass-Mowing Sword"), a sacred sword which is one of the three sacred Imperial regalia, the others being the mirror at the Ise Jingu shrines and the jewels at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Most likely the sword is a copy, as the original was lost in the sea battle of Dan-no-ura in 1185 off the coast of Shimonoseki.
Ema votive plaques at Atsuta Shrine, Nagoya
Toganji Temple, Nagoya
Toganji Temple 桃巌寺
Toganji Temple, in the Motoyama area of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture, dates from the sixteenth century and includes an impressive 15 meter high statue of the seated Buddha painted in a vivid green color. Toganji, a Soto Zen sect temple of Japanese Buddhism, has many links to India as one of the high priests of the temple completed his studies in Buddhism there. Toganji Temple's grounds contain a Shiva-Lingam and a shrine dedicated to the Goddess Saraswati, who is honored in a Benzaiten Festival every May 7-8. Toganji also contains a huge wood block said to purge past sins if touched with one hand. Toganji's lovely temple grounds, though small, also contain a Chinese-style gate, an ancient pine tree and a thick, bamboo grove.
Koshoji Temple Buddha and pagoda, Yagoto, Nagoya
Koshoji Temple 興正寺
Koshoji Temple (興正寺) in Nagoya, not to be confused with Koshoji (興正寺) in Kyoto, or the Koshoji (興聖寺) in Uji, is located in the Yagoto area of the city, its grounds cover the two hills of Nishiyama and Higashiyama. Koshoji is a Shingon Buddhist temple and can lay claim to having the only wooden pagoda in the Tokai area and a beautiful, modern garden in the rear of the temple complex. The 30 meter-tall, five story wooden pagoda was built in 1808 and is visible as soon as you enter the main gate of the temple. The main hall is earlier and dates from 1750 and enshrines an image of Amida Nyorai - the Buddha of the Afterlife. The main hall also includes a special shrine where supplicants can pray for a painless death, known as pokkuri in Japanese.
Koshoji Temple's five story pagoda dates from 1808
Osu Kannon Temple
Osu Kannon Temple 大須観音
Osu Kannon Temple, located in the electronics and shopping area of Osu Kannon, is one of Nagoya's most famous and popular temples. Osu Kannon is a Shingon sect temple and attracts large crowds on the 18th of each month to its popular flea market. Osu Kannon, officially known as Kitanosan Shinpuku-ji Hosho-in, was first built in the Hashima area of Gifu in the 14th century just outside Nagoya city. Osu Kannon Temple was moved to its present location in 1612 by local warlord, later shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. A fire destroyed parts of the temple in 1820 and after some damage in World War II, the temple was rebuilt in the 1970's as a modern replica of its original form.
Banshoji Temple 万松寺
Banshoji Temple is another, smaller temple in Osu Kannon. A Soto Zen sect temple of Japanese Buddhism, it is built within a modern building on Banshoji Dori, a short walk from Kamimaezu Station on the Tsurumai and Meijo lines of the Nagoya subway. Banshoji was constructed by Oda Nobuhide, the father of local warlord Oda Nobunaga in 1540. Banshoji Temple served as a residence for Kato Kiyomasa (1562-1611), the principal architect of Nagoya Castle during its construction. Banshoji was moved to its present location in 1610.
Nittaiji Temple, Nagoya
Nittaiji Temple 日泰寺
Nittaiji Temple (Japan-Thai Temple) is close to Kakuozan Station on the Higashiyama Line of the Nagoya subway. This large non-affiliated temple dates from 1904 when it was called Nissenji (Japan-Siam Temple) and contains a portion of the ashes from the cremation of the historical Buddha, which were donated by the then Thai King Chulalongkorn. The ashes were found in Northern Indian in 1898 by a British colonial period Estate Manager, William C. Peppe. There remains considerable doubt among scholars if the original relics "discovered" by Peppe are genuine or not.
Main Gate at Higashi Betsuin Temple, Nagoya
Main Hall (Hondo), Higashi Betsuin Temple, Nagoya
Higashi Betsuin Temple 東別院
Higashi Betsuin Temple is a large sub-temple of Higashi Honganji Temple in Kyoto. Higashi Betsuin Temple is a Jodo-Shinshu sect temple of Japanese Buddhism which has the largest number of followers in Japan. The grounds of Higashi Betsuin Temple are spacious and tranquil, though set in a somewhat unattractive area of Nagoya near an elevated highway and rather dark-looking canals. Higashi Betsuin's grounds were originally the site of Furuwatari Castle, a fortress built in 1542 by Oda Nobuhide (1510-1552), the father of the famous, local warlord Oda Nobunaga. Higashi Betsuin became an important temple in central Japan during the Edo Period of Japanese history, with the buildings undergoing constant repair and reconstruction up until the Meiji Period when the Nagoya Expo of 1874 was held here. Much of the temple was destroyed during World War II. The massive main gate and main hall were rebuilt in the 1960's. The huge bell in the bell tower, though, is original and dates to 1692.
Arako Kannon Temple Main Hall, Arako, Nagoya
Arako Kannon 荒子観音
Arako Kannon Temple (aka Jokai-san Enryu-in Kannon-ji) west of Kanayama Station, contains the oldest wooden structure in the city. The two-story Tahoto Pagoda dates from the Azuchi-Momoyama Period and was rebuilt in 1536. The impressive main gate of the temple (Sanmon) has two 3-meter-tall nio guardian statues carved by the sculptor Enku (1632-1696) in the late 17th century. Other important, historic Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) temples in the Owari district of Aichi Prefecture include Kasadera-Kannon in Minami-ku, Ryuusen-ji in Moriyama-ku and Jimoku-ji near Tsushima.
Toyokuni Shrine, Nakamura Koen, Nagoya
Toyokuni Shrine, in Nakamura Park in the west of Nagoya, was erected in 1885 to enshrine the spirit of Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1536-1598), who was believed to have been born on the site, and that of his loyal general and cousin Kato Kiyomasa. Hideyoshi was the second of the great unifiers in the Azuchi-Momoyama Period at the end of the 16th century, along with his predecessor and patron Oda Nobunaga, and the man who followed him to finally unite Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Other Temples in Nagoya
Other more local temples and shrines in the Nagoya area include Harina Shrine and Akibasan Jinganji adjacent to each other in Tenpaku-ku. They are not too far from Hirabari Station on the Tsurumai Line.
Dairyuji Temple in Motoyama is a pretty temple dating from the 18th century. The principal image in the main hall is a seated, wooden image of the historical Buddha. Also in the temple grounds are statues of the 500 Rakan and a wooden bell tower.
Nearby Shiroyamahachimangu Shrine is built over the ruins of Suemori Castle. It is fitting, perhaps, that the castle ruins are contained within a Hachiman shrine as Hachiman is the god of war. Shiroyamahachimangu Shrine is a popular shrine in the area and hosts a couple of lively festivals in the summer.
The interesting, though tiny, Jofukuji Temple, near Atsuta Jingu, commemorates the voyage of the Tokujomaru - a Japanese ship that drifted for a record 484 days in the Pacific in 1813-1814. The entire crew perished except for three men who were rescued by a British ship off the coast of California. Two men eventually returned to Japan via Kamchatka.
Seishuji Temple, in the Yaba-cho area of downtown Nagoya, is located close to Wakamiya Hachiman Shrine. The temple is associated with Oda Nobunaga but is generally closed to the public. The shrine is a tranquil spot in a busy, commercial area.
Seimei Shrine near Nagoya Dome is a sister shrine of the more famous shrine of the same name in Kyoto. Seimei shrines are dedicated to the Heian Period court astrologer, cosmologist and astronomer Abe no Seimei.
Lantern with pentagram motif at Seimei Shrine
Accommodation in Nagoya
Nagoya has a nice range of accommodation including hotels and ryokan. Most of Nagoya's hostels cluster near Nagoya Station in the Meieki district of the city. Other groupings of hotels are in Fushimi and Sakae, the financial and entertainment areas of the city, respectively.
Some recommendations near Nagoya Station include the luxury Nagoya Marriott Associa in the JR Central Towers, the 3-star Hotel Resol Nagoya, the Meitetsu Grand Hotel, the Castle Plaza Hotel, the Chisun Inn, the budget Toyoko Inn Nagoya-eki Shinkansen-guchi, the Meitetsu Inn Nagoya Eki-mae, the large Daiwa Roynet Hotel Nagoya Eki Mae, the basic and cheap Eco Hotel Nagoya and the Royal Park Hotel.
In Fushimi try the Hilton Nagoya, the Nagoya Kanko Hotel, a deluxe five-star hotel, the landmark Hamilton Hotel Black, Nagoya Rich Hotel Nishiki (formerly Green Hotel), Fushimi Montblanc Hotel and the 3-star Nagoya Grace Inn with complimentary breakfast.
Some of Sakae's best hotels include the b Nagoya, the Hotel Creston, the stylish Hotel Trusty business hotel, the no-frills but affordable Hotel Econo Nagoya Sakae, the four star Nishitetsu Hotel Croom Nagoya near Hisaya Odori Station and the reliable Tokyu Inn.
Nagoya temples & shrines: see a listing of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture including Atsuta Shrine and Osu Kannon Temple.