The Nara-Yamato Four Temple Pilgrimage symbolizes all that is best about Japan. We offer the true and authentic spirit of Japan and welcome you.
Let us bring peace and tranquility to your hearts in the pilgrimage.
You will set on a journey to visit Hase-dera Temple, Muro-ji Temple, Oka-dera Temple and Abe-Monjyuin Temple all of which are magnificent temples located in the Nara-Yamato province. The area called the “Center of the Nation” is the birthplace of imperial rule and is rich in historical sites.
From pretty temples with beautiful gardens and masterpieces of Buddhist sculptures to hidden gems waiting to be explored, the awe-inspiring journey will stay with you forever.
Your heart will discover the true essence of Japan in Nara-Yamato.
“NARA YAMATO Four Temple Pilgrimage”
Designated by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology under the Cultural Assets Preservation Act, Japanese cultural properties, especially National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties, are highly valuable cultural assets.
Tangible cultural properties of particular importance are designated as Important Cultural Properties, and those of particular value from the perspective of world culture are designated as National Treasures.
Cultural properties are valuable national assets that have been created and nurtured over the course of Japan's long history and have been preserved and handed down over the generations until today.
Cultural property includes shrines and temples, Buddhist statues, historic sites and scenic spots, as well as traditional customs and performing arts and natural monuments.
Nara, which is also known by its old name, Yamato, has a profound history that continues to this day.
Many cultural assets were created in the course of its long history and have been handed down to the present day through the efforts of our predecessors.
The four temples also have a number of cultural assets that have been designated as National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. These historical treasures always remind us of the history and culture of our country.
The Buddha of Compassion
Hase is the head temple of a large branch of the Shingon sect and has 3,000 branch temples throughout Japan.
The area “Hase” has been a sacred place since ancient times and was described in Japanese classical literatures such as the “Tale of Genji” and the “Myriad Leaves Collection”.
Hase Temple is called the “Sacred Temple of flowers” and is also known as the 8th temple of the Kannon Pilgrimage to 33 Sites in Saigoku (Western Japan, Kansai).
Pilgrims can enjoy seasonal flowers:
cherry blossoms and peonies in spring, Japanese hydrangeas in summer, maples in autumn and winter peonies in winter.
The Buddha of Enlightenment
Murō temple started accepting female worshippers a long time ago when most temples prohibited women to enter those precincts.
Mt. Kōya was famous for applying the “No Women Allowed” policy before the 20th century while Murō was affectionately called the “Women’s Kōya”. A number of believers sought the salvation in this temple.
The Murō area is located in thick forests with a beautiful river it is said that sacred dragons dwell in the forests.
The main Buddha of worship is the Shaka Nyorai, or the Buddha of Enlightenment who was a founder of Buddhism and attained enlightenment. The Shaka Nyorai has attracted devotion by those praying for supplication.
The Buddha of Wish-Granting
Established in 663 AD.
Ryūgai Temple, or commonly known as “Oka”, literally means the "Dragon Lid" temple.
The primary Buddha of worship is the Nyoirin Kannon Bosatsu or the Buddha of Wish-Granting and is the largest clay Buddhist Statue in Japan which was made in the 8th century.
The Oka temple is also known as Japan’s first temple used to drive away Yaku or unluckiness.
Prayers from pure heart to Buddha will bring prosperity and happiness.
The Buddha of Wisdom
Abe-Monjyuin Temple, founded in 645, is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan. It is highly respected as a special head temple of the Todaiji branch of the Kegon sect. Since its beginning, Abe-Monjyuin Temple has engaged in Kito (prayers and practices) to grant believers for wisdom and good fortune with the divine power of Buddhas. The Monjyu Bosatsu or the Buddha of Wisdom enshrined in the main hall was created by Kaikei who was one of Japan’s main sculptors in the 13th century and is designated as a national treasure.
The Monjyu Bosatsu is represented riding a lion and holding a raised sword in his right hand, symbolizing the cutting away of ignorance.
The temple also houses a variety of treasures accumulated for more than 1300 years.