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Miidera Temple 三井寺(長等山園城寺)

Mii-dera Temple Mii-dera Temple
Mii-dera Temple Mii-dera Temple

One of Omi's most famous temples, built by the grandson of a former emperor to mourn the soul of his father

Miidera Temple has sacred springs, important Buddhist art and pagoda complexes.

Quick Facts

One of the four great temples

Particularly famous for its cherry blossoms

Officially known as Nagarasan Onjoji Temple

How to Get There

From Kyoto , take the JR and Keihan Line to Miidera Station (20-30 minutes) and then walk 10 minutes. You can also take the JR Tokaido Main Line to Otsu Station (10 minutes from Kyoto) and take the Keihan Bus to the Miidera Temple bus stop (15 minutes). Note that the Tokaido Main Line is also known as the Biwako Line in this area.

Springs, sculptures, and sakura

Prince Yota Okimi built Onjoji Temple at the foot of Mount Hiei in 672 to mourn the death of his father. The temple was called Miidera Temple because of the sacred spring that was used as the birthplace of three historical figures: Emperors Tenchi and Temmu, and Empress Jito.

The main hall was built in 1084, but the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi destroyed the building in the late 1500s. It was rebuilt in 1599.

Today, the main hall and the Buddha Hall contain numerous treasured sculptures of the Buddha.

The head temple

Miidera is the head temple of the Jimon sect of Tendai Buddhism. It is also number 14 on the pilgrimage of 33 temples devoted to Kannon, the Buddhist deity of mercy and compassion.

For worshippers, it's a beautiful place for a quiet moment of reflection, although things are livelier in cherry blossom season.

In the Akaiya building that houses the sacred spring, look for the wooden dragon sculpture. Legend has it that the sculptor had to put spikes in its eyes to keep it from escaping every night and terrorizing the locals.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

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