close

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

Abe Monjuin Temple 安倍文殊院

7th-century temple Abe Monju-in Temple is the unlikely destination for both students and pop culture fans alike

Along with Hasedera and Omiwa-jinja Shrine, Abe Monju-in Temple, in the rural town of Sakurai, is among the oldest sites of worship in Japan.

Don't Miss

  • View the enormous statue of Monju Bosatsu mounted on a lion, a national treasure
  • Take a moment to reflect at the floating pavilion dedicated to Benzaiten, the god of music
  • Admire the cherry trees blooming in spring, and the cosmos flowers blanketing the grounds in the fall

How to Get There

The temple is nearest to the JR Sakurai Station, with convenient access from Nara, Kyoto, or Osaka.

From Tokyo or Kyoto: The JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line takes between 2 hours and 15-45 minutes to the Kyoto Station. Change here for the Kintetsu Line to Sakurai Station via Yamatoyagi. The journey takes about 1 hour.

From Osaka: From the Osaka Station, take the Osaka Loop Line to Tsuruhashi, followed by the Kintetsu Line to the Sakurai Station. The journey takes about 1 hour.

From Nara: From the Nara Station, take the JR Manyo Maharoba Line to the Sakurai Station. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes.

Quick Facts

Though the main building of the temple was rebuilt several times due to fires, the current structure was erected in 1665

The Omote-Sanmon, or main gate, of the temple has never been closed since its foundation

There is free Wi-Fi throughout the temple grounds

A destination for students

Though destroyed by fire several times, Abe Monju-in Temple was founded as early as 645, which makes it one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan. It enshrines Monju Bosatsu, the Buddhist deity of wisdom. Therefore, it is no wonder that students flock here to pray and leave wishes for good results on wooden tablets before their exams.

The statue of Monju Bosatsu

Enter the main hall to see the statue of Monju Bosatsu itself, which is a masterpiece of Kamakura-period (1192-1333) sculpture by Kaikei, well-known for his two fearsome guardian deities that stand in the gate at Todai-ji Temple in Nara. The statue that depicts Monju mounted on a lion is some 7 meters in height, accompanied by four attendants. All of these works are National Treasures.

Birthplace of a legendary court astrologer

Abe Monju-in Temple also marks the birthplace of Abe no Seimei, who was an onmyoji or advisor to the government on such matters as auspicious events, the spiritual calendar, and quelling of evil spirits, which was based upon yin-yang principles and astrology. Referred to as “Japan's Merlin,” he has been made popular more recently by his appearance in several manga comics and films. This fact has made the temple a destination for pilgrimages by anime and manga fans.

Don't forget to claim your bowl of matcha tea and sweets, which is included in the entry fee.

  • HOME
  • Abe Monjuin Temple