Known as the oldest temple in Japan, Shitennoji is distinguished by a five-story pagoda, turtle-filled ponds, and a unique symmetrical architectural style.
Enjoy a walk from Tennoji Station to the temple grounds, and observe the surrounding architecture and ambiance transform from sleek, busy and modern to traditional, serene and ancient.
You can reach the temple by train or taxi.
From JR Tennoji Station, take the north exit and walk past Tennoji Park along the covered shopping arcade, followed by a series of narrow roads selling Buddhist wares. You should get to the temple grounds in approximately 10 minutes.
On January 14, young men clad in traditional undergarments run into Shitennoji Temple, where they are doused in cold water. Once they reach the inside of the temple, the boys attempt to grab paper charms hanging from the ceiling. This exciting event is known as the Doya Doya Festival.
Head to Shitennoji in the evening during Japan's Obon holidays in mid-August to witness traditional Buddhist rituals to the dead, and Osaka's traditional bon odori song and dance.
You can see what Shitennoji offers in one to two hours. Consider budgeting an entire morning or afternoon to explore the greater Tennoji area along with a trip to the temple.