Have you ever seen Ojizosan? Ojizosan is a stone Buddha statue in the shape of a child.
You can see them on the streets in Kyoto. It is known as the guardian of the children and the patron deity of deceased children, so local people have a belief in Ojizosan.
In Otagi Nenbtutsu-ji Temple, you can see A LOT of Ojizosan.
Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple
This temple is located in Sagano, northwest part of Kyoto city.
It’s a little bit far from Arashiyama area but it’s worth spending 30 minutes to walk from that area.
It was established in the mid 8th century by the Emperor’s order.
It was originally located in east part of Kyoto but it was relocated to the present place in 20th century because the buildings was falling into ruins.
The main building is a national important cultural property because of its style of architecture.
Hundreds of, Thousands of Ojizosan
These Ojizosan are made by visitors. They are hand-made Ojizosan and each Ojizosan has an unique posture and facial expression.
In 1981, the chief priest came up with the idea to fill the temple with a lot of Ojizosan.
The target number of Ojizosan was 500 but now there are about 1,200!!
This looks familiar to me…
Since these Ojizosans are hand-made, every single one of them is different. Some of them are really simple and others are unique and funny.
You can find one with a camera, one holding a cat or a book and one with sunglasses.
Maybe you can find the one looking like a member of your family or your friends.
It is fun to look at each one’s face and to take pictures of them.
A bit spooky and creepy
The smily, happy face Ojizosans are fun to look at but things are changing.
The darker it gets, the creepier they become.
You might feel they are watching you…
You’d better visit them at noon.
There is a haunted place nearby the temple…
- Opening Hours：8:00 – 17:00
- Admission Fee：300 yen (Free for Under 15)
- Access：5mins walk from JR Saga Arashiyama station to Nonomiya bus stop
- →Take a bus, departure for Kiyotaki, from Nonomiya bus stop
- →Get off at Otagidera-mae bus stop