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 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 other buildings can be seen halfway up the slope of Hase-yama that visitors can spend a long time exploring.
Hase-dera Temple is an ideal day trip destination, roughly an hour by train from Osaka. Nearby, Sakurai has significant temples and shrines such as Tanzan Jinja, Omiwa Shrine that you can extend your trip.
An impressive temple buildings
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.
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
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.
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.
Hase-dera Temple (長谷寺)
Address : 731-1 Hase, Sakurai, Nara 633-0112
Hours : 9:00 to 17:00 Open throughout the year
Admission : 500yen
Access : 20-minute walk from Hasedera station on the Kintetsu Osaka line