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A historical place for women to worship

Learn about the unique relationship between Koyasan and Muroji Temple and explore its attractive surroundings. Find out why the temple is strongly associated with female worshippers.

How to Get There

Muro is accessible by train and bus from Nara and Osaka.

From Nara, take the JR Manyo Mahoroba Line to Sakurai, about 30 minutes away. From Sakurai Station, take the local Kintetsu Osaka Line to Muroguchi-Ono Station, which takes about 15 minutes. Catch a bus from the station to the Muroji-mae bus stop.

There are direct trains from Osaka to Muroguchi-Ono Station.

Muro's main attraction

The centerpiece of the Muro area is Muroji Temple . The buildings of the temple, which are located on the side of a mountain, can be seen from the valley below.

The exact dates of construction are unknown, but Muroji Temple was likely built during the Nara period (710-794). It became associated with an esoteric sect of Buddhism practiced on Koyasan.

A place of worship for women

Since the temples of Koyasan were off-limits for female worshippers, Muroji Temple became popular with women. This led to it being called Nyonin Koya, or “Koya for women.” Women are now allowed into nearly all temples and shrines in Japan, but the association between women and this temple has continued.

The five-story pagoda

The five-story pagoda standing near the top of the stairs is the smallest in Japan. It was badly damaged by a storm in 1998, but it has been restored to its original condition. See the impressive array of Buddha and Kannon statues.

Art and design in the open air

A lesser-known spot that is still worth a visit is Murou Art Forest. This open-air modern sculpture museum exhibits pieces by Israeli artist Dani Karavan. All the works he created, which were designed specifically for this location, are meant to blend design and nature into a seamless whole.

This is a wonderful place to have a picnic or simply appreciate the beauty of Japan's natural landscape.

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


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