Touching the Buddha's heart in a quiet mountain temple

Hasedera Temple

Built in the 8th century


Warashibe Choja (Straw millionaire)

A beautiful temple built on the slope of a mountain, in harmony with nature. It is popular as a "flower temple" in which the grounds are always decorated with flowers throughout the four seasons. There are thirty buildings on the grounds, and a traditional monzen town with souvenir shops and ryokan inns in the surrounding area. Expect to spend several relaxing hours here. The scenery after climbing the stone steps to the main hall and the statue of Buddha is absolutely breathtaking. This resplendent temple is less frequently visited than those in Kyoto, allowing visitors to spend time communing with the Buddha's spirit. It is the principal mountain of the Buzan school of the Shingon Buddhist sect, the origin of the 3000 temples in the country. Visitors will be able to glimpse the many monks who train there.

Noboriro (Climbing corridor) / Important cultural property

A gentle, beautiful staircase that goes up to the main hall. The total length is about 200m, or 108 Ken when expressed in old Japanese units. Buddhism holds that there are 108 defilements of the spirit, and it is said that each fades as visitors travel one Ken.

Main hall / Reconstructed in 1650 National treasure

The main hall stands atop a cliff. Visitors finally arrive at their destination after climbing the stone steps. The refreshing wind blowing over the hill will gently dry any sweat you worked up climbing the stone stairway. The view from here will take your breath away. There is a huge principal image further in, and this building was built afterwards to enshrine it.

Eleven-faced Kannon Bosatsu Standing Statue / Erected in 1538 Important cultural property

The statue is 10m 18cm in height. It is the largest wooden eleven-faced kannon statue in Japan. It features a total of eleven faces, three with expressions of mercy, three with expressions of anger, three with the expressions of praise, one with the expression of enlightenment, and the final one with a smile. On special occasions, visitors can come as close as the statue's feet. Worshipers kneel before the Buddha and pray while touching the statue’s feet. Centuries of worshippers praying in this manner has given the statue's feet a different color from its body.

Morning routine

A memorial service that has continued for more than 1000 years. It is conducted every morning at the main hall. The chanting of the sutras rings out in the early morning against the clear sky, a sacred experience for all who are there. Visiting travelers routinely praise the experience as wonderful. The service is worth experiencing when visiting Hasedera Temple.
Starts at 6:30 from April to September. Starts at 7:00 from October to March. Registration starts 30 minutes before at the main hall reception. Please dress appropriately, as this is a sacred ceremony. It is best to avoid short skirts and shorts. We suggest that visitors who wish to see the service stay at an inn near Hasedera Temple.


Viewing times
April - September 8:30-17:00
October - March 9:00-16:30
Admission fee
Admission Adult / Jr & Sr high school students ¥500
Elementary school / disabled persons ¥250
About 21 minutes from Sakurai Station ¥210
Sightseeing duration
2 hours - 4 hours
731-1 Hase, Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture

Warashibe Choja (Straw millionaire)

A renowned Japanese folktale set at Hasedera Temple.

There once was a young samurai that lived in Kyoto, and who had no parents, no wife, and no master. One day, the samurai visited the Hase Kannon and asked, “Will I end up being poor for the rest of my life? Please let me know in my dreams if there is anything at all you can grant me. I will pray here until I have a sign from you.” He spoke, and then bowed down. Then Kannon gave him a message saying, “go out from the temple and carry with you the first thing you grab.”

  1. When he left the temple gate, he fell down. As he did, he grabbed some a.

  2. As he walked, carrying the straw as he was told, a horsefly flew around him making noise.

  3. He caught the horsefly using a piece of straw and continued to walk.

  4. A child came from the opposite direction and wanted the horsefly. The samurai gave the horsefly to the child. In return, he received a mandarin orange.

  5. After walking for a bit, he met a person who was suffering from thirst.

  6. He felt pity, and gave the orange to the suffering person.

  7. The person recovered as soon as the orange was consumed, and in return, gave him a bolt of cloth.

  8. After walking a while again, he met a samurai with a fallen horse.

  9. The other samurai suggested, “Let’s exchange the bolt of cloth for the horse.” He felt very sorry for the horse, and so exchanged his bolt of cloth for it.

  10. He faced the direction of the Kannon and prayed for the horse to get well.

  11. The horse became healthy before his eyes.

  12. As he was walking with the healthy horse, a wealthy lord of a large house asked him to borrow the horse, as he had to go to the capital on an urgent errand.

  13. The samurai readily lent the horse to the lord. The lord said “I will be gone for about three years. If I do not return home, then I will give this house to you,” and left on his journey.

  14. The samurai waited for the lord to return for five years.

  15. But the lord never returned. The samurai became the lord of the house, and lived happily ever after.