A temple, filled with the daruma dolls, dedicated to prayers for “victor’s luck” ,to offer the spectacul view of natural beauty.
Katsuo-ji (勝尾寺) is located in the forested region of Minoo city, Osaka. The area is a charming getaway from the bustle of the city. The temple was built by the 6th feudal lord of the area to pray for the Emperor Seiwa’s recovery from his illness in 880. It’s believed that the prayer helped as the emperor actually regained his health. Then the temple was renamed as Katsuo-ji Temple, “勝-王-寺”, literally means “Victorious King Temple”. The “King” in its name was later changed to “tail” , “尾” with the same pronunciation.
Katsuo-ji enshrines “Kannon Bosatsu”, the Goddess of Mercy, sculpted a 2.4-meter-high statue of Kannon with eleven faces and 1,000 hands. This became the temple’s main deity. The temple has gained followers for its good luck in battles, throughout history, including the Minamoto, Ashikaga, and Toyotomi clans. Today people flock here to pray for victor’s luck in business, examinations, sports, accomplishments, love, and so on.
A good luck doll “Kachi-daruma”
Visitors can see the daruma dolls here called “Kachi-daruma” (winning daruma.) everywhere at the temple. They create a unique atmosphere. It’s considered as a symbol of good luck in Japan, and its cute round figure is loved by many people.
The daruma dolls can be used to pray for good luck. First, you write your wish on the base of the daruma and pray in the temple building. Finally you paint in the right eye as the daruma dolls have no eyes. You then take the daruma home, and paint in the left eye when you fulfil your wish. Visitors can purchase daruma dolls in many different sizes, and good luck charms, shaped like daruma dolls at the temple.
Katsuo-ji let you enjoy the beautiful scenery throughout the year.
Katsuo-ji Temple has beautiful gardens along with a bridge over koi carp ponds and a vermilion pagoda. In spring, You can see a variety of cherry blossoms, such as Hikan-zakura, Shidare-zakura, Yae-zakura, and Yama-zakura. After the cherry blossom season, azaleas and about 2,500 alpine roses will be in full bloom. During the rainy season, the sight of 3,600 hydrangeas will amaze you.
Amongst all the seasons, autumn is the most spectacular. The neighboring Minoo Park, and all around Katsuo-ji Temple will be colored in red, yellow, and orange. Therefore, during the autumn foliage season, a large number of people visit Katsuo-ji Temple to see the spectacular view.
Minoo Park hiking trail
In addition, we recommend visiting nearby Minoo Park, renowned for its 33-meter-high waterfall. The entrance of the park is 400 meters away from Hankyu Mino Station. There is a 4-kilometer long hiking trail leading to the Katsuo-ji Temple. You can take a more scenic route on this trail. It takes about 40-minute to reach the waterfalls from Minoo Park’s entrance and another 40-minute to reach Katsuo-ji on the trail.
Address : 2914-1, Oji-Aomatani, Minoo-shi, Osaka
Access : 15-minute taxi ride from Mino Station on the Hankyu Mino Line.
30-minute bus (the Hankyu Bus #29) ride from Senri-Chuo Station on the Osaka metro Midosuji Line.
Hours : 8:00 to 17:00 (Open til 18:00 on holidays and late during lit-up events)
Admission : 400 Yen