Kimiidera Temple 紀三井寺
An impressive temple with golden Buddhas, cherry blossoms, pilgrims and royal roots
Founded in 770, Kimiidera Temple is a striking piece of Buddhist architecture, with a brilliant red facade that stands out against its green mountain surroundings. Said to have been graced by visits from emperors, the temple holds a prestigious place in the Wakayama area.
The temple is known for its early-blooming cherry blossoms
It's the second temple along Japan's oldest pilgrimage route
How to Get There
The temple is accessible on foot from Kimiidera Station on the Kisei Line.
For those visiting the temple from Wakayama City, Kimiidera Station is a couple of stops from Wakayama Station.
Visitors in early spring will witness the temple grounds bathed in cherry-blossom pink as 500 trees of distinctive early-blooming blossoms burst into color. The combination of soft pink blooms against the bright red temple and dark trees makes an unforgettable photograph.
Sweeping views over Wakanoura Bay
There are around two hundred steps to the temple's main hall, but the reward is the magnificent view over the nearby Wakanoura Bay. It's a sight that has inspired poets and writers over the ages; try to catch the sunset.
The main hall
For a small fee, you can enter the main hall that houses Buddhist images designated as Important Cultural Properties. The grounds are also packed full of history with a range of statues and an ancient camphor tree.
A gilded goddess
In 2008, the largest standing wooden statue was completed and placed here. The multi-armed Kannon, or goddess of mercy, is an impressive statue with a beautifully serene expression.