A huge temple complex, accessed by an impressive covered stairway in a deep valley with spectacular scenery. It is particularly beautiful when the mountains blaze red and yellow in autumn.

Hase-dera Temple, located in the the mountains east of the Asuka region, Nara Prefecture, is said to have been built by Emperor Tenmu in the 7th century, and now serves as the head temple of the Bunzan school of Shingon Buddhism. The Temple, situated in a valley has over 30 buildings built up along the hillside. The Main Hall is at the very top and offers a great view of the surroundings from its balcony, particularly during the cherry blossom and autumn color seasons. A five-storied pagoda, and halls of various sizes can be seen halfway up the slope of Hase-yama that visitors can spend a long time exploring.

Hase-dera consists of a small temple town, whose restaurants and merchants have been catering to temple visitors for centuries. At the base of the temple is the Niomon Gate with statues of guardian deities housed within. A long corridor with almost 400 steps leads up to the main hall.

hasedera gate
●Niomon Gate with statues of guardian deities
hase-dera stairs
●A long corridor with almost 400 steps leads up to the main hall.

At the top, visitors will be rewarded with stunning views from the temple’s wooden stage, which juts out over the valley. It is particularly beautiful in spring and autumn

hasedera main hall
●  It’s similar to Kyoto’s Kiyomizu-dera Temple
hasedera pagoda
● The five-story pagoda below the main hall.

Hase-dera Temple is one of the best place to enjoy various flowers throughout year.

Cherry blossoms bloom from late March to mid-April, 7,000 peony bushes of 150 varieties from late April to early May, 20,000 hydrangeas from mid-June to mid July, and autumn colors in late November.

hase-dera hydrangea

Susanooh Shrine 「素盞雄神社」

In November, you may probably spot a gigantic yellow ginkgo tree on the other side of Hase-dera, across the street from the distance. You can reach this shrine in a few minutes from the Niomon gate of Hase-dera. You just keep going along the road, then cross the red bridge to the hillside.

●A massive gingko tree.
● Gingko leaves create beautiful yellow carpets.


Address : Japan, 〒633-0112 Nara-ken, Sakurai-shi, Hase, 731−1

Open : 9:00 to 17:00 Open throughout the year

Fee : 500yen

Access : 20-minute walk from Hasedera station on the Kintetsu Osaka line