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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

History

Taimadera Temple 當麻寺 本堂

## The temple where Japan's Cinderella lived

Taimadera was the most important temple during the first efforts to spread Buddhism throughout Japan. The temple is also linked to one of the most beloved heroines in Japanese folklore, Princess Chujo.

Don't Miss

  • The gorgeous colors of the spring and fall on the temple grounds
  • Its intricate woven mandala, which is over one thousand years old

How to Get There

Taimadera, located south of Nara, is accessible by train from Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara.

From Osaka Kintetsu Abenobashi Station, it takes 35 minutes on the Kintetsu Minami-Osaka Line to Taimadera Station. From Kyoto Station, take the Kintetsu Line via Yamato-Saidaiji and Kashihara-jingu-mae to Taimadera Station. The journey takes just under two hours.

From Kintetsu Nara Station, take the Kintetsu Line via Yamato-Saidaiji, Kashihara-jingu-mae, and Shakudo Station to Taimadera Station. The journey takes about 45 minutes.

The temple is a short walk from Taimadera Station.

Quick Facts

There is a 1911 short silent film based upon Chujo-hime's legend

Chujo-hime has made Taimadera popular with female worshippers, and her life is celebrated every May 14 with dancers dressed as Bodhisattvas

Taimadera is the only ancient temple in Japan to still have its original two pagodas, dating from around AD 710

Buddhism comes to Japan

Taimadera Temple is named after Taima no Kunimi, an imperial courtier who moved the temple to its present site from Osaka in 681, but it has a closer connection to the Prince Maroko. Maroko was the brother of the celebrated Prince Shotoku, who devised Japan's first constitution and united the country through Buddhism.

Maroko built Taimadera as the head temple of the newly established Hosso Sect, which can be traced to the great Chinese monk Xuanzang, whose perilous expedition to India to receive Buddhist teachings was immortalized in the much-loved novel Journey to the West.

Japan's Cinderella and a treasured mandala

The temple contains a remarkably intact embroidered mandala—a representation of the Buddhist cosmos—that is also a National Treasure. This mandala features in the tale of Princess Chujo, a semi-legendary figure nicknamed the “Cinderella of Japan.”

According to the story, Princess Chujo became a nun at Taimadera to escape the wrath of her stepmother, who sought to have her killed. While at the temple, Chujo wove the mandala in a single night using thread made from lotus root.

Wander to Sekko-ji Temple at the north end of Taimadera and its impressive gardens. It boasts 400 different varieties of flora and fauna, and during the flowering season from April to May, the area is packed with visitors and worshippers.

From Taimadera, you can visit nearby Mt. Katsuragi, which is a popular spot among hikers due to its many trails linking ancient shrines and temples and the ropeway line that lifts you to the summit.

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