KKday is a site that offers optional tours in more than 53 countries.Find a special experience tour in Japan!
The area of Yoshino Mountain in Nara prefecture was a sacred place of worship a long time ago. The origin of Kinpusen-ji temple is said to have begun when a worshiper carved a divine figure that he had a vision of on a piece of cherry wood after his ascetic quest in the mountains. This very piece of wood was enshrined in this temple. The Buddhist statue at this temple, Zao Gongen, has a stern expression and sharp teeth like tusks. He looks as if he is about to leap out of his abode. This statue is famous for its powerful figure compared to other calm Buddhist statues. The statue was recognized as a World Cultural Heritage in 2004.
- 2498 Yoshinoyama, Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara
- Contact No.
- 3-min walk from Yoshino Station on Kintetsu Line to Yoshino Ropeway Senbonguchi Station. Take the cable car to Yoshinoyama Station. 10-min walk from Yoshinoyama Station.
- Opening Hours / Holidays
Open all year round
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 30 minutes
- Admission fee
- Zao-do admission: adults 500 yen (additional charge for Gokaicho)
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Located in the center of Kinpusen-ji, Zao-do is a large hall that was built using 68 pillars. The door of the hall is generally closed, but during the event of Gokaicho, it is opened offering a sight of the Zao Gongen.
The Zao Gongen that are enshrined in the Zao-do play the most important role in Kinpusen-ji. They are said to have appeared at Kinpusen-ji about 1,300 years ago and represent salvation of the past, the present and the future (from left to right). You will always remember these imposing, staring statues. If you are fortunate enough to visit the temple when Gokaicho is held, pay a visit to these powerful figures.
At both sides of Nio-mon (gate) of Kinpusen-ji, there stand the statues of Kongo Rikishi that are the second largest statues in Japan. They guard this temple with their furious faces preventing the enemies of Buddhism from entering through the gate.
The Yoshino Mountain where Kinpusen-ji is located is famous for its cherry blossoms. The mountain is covered with cherry blossoms in spring. In summer, a festival where the whole town is lit up by lanterns is held. In autumn, the leaves of the trees turn red, coloring the entire mountain. We recommend that you explore the Yoshino Mountain area after visiting the temple.