The Shitennoji is almost as old as Buddhism in Japan. It was constructed on the orders of Prince Shotoku in 593 AD, a Japanese folk hero in Japan credited with introducing Buddhism to the country. The temple buildings have been rebuilt over the centuries, but the craftsmen responsible have always tried to keep the structure true to its original form. Originally built as an archaic hospital, today it functions as a museum and tourist attraction.
Besides its credentials as a museum, it is also the headquarters of a Buddhist sect known as Washu who guard the treasures located inside. The treasures include a sword said to have belonged to Shotoku and many valuable religious documents and paintings.
You can also enter and climb the pagoda - it's just as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside! If you happen to be there on the 21st of each month, be sure to check out the vibrant flea market!
- 8:30am – 4:30pm from April to September / 8:30am – 4pm from October to end of March, daily; Closed from time to time
- +81 6-6771-0066
- 1-11-18 Shitennoji, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 543-0051, Japan.
- A few minute walk from the Shitennoji-mae-Yuhigaoka Station on the Tanimachi Subway Line; From Shin Osaka Station: Take the Midosuji Line to Tennoji Station (21 min), change to Tanimachi line to Shitennoji Mae Yuhigaoka (2 min); From Kanzai International Airport: Take the Kansaikuko Line to Tennoji Station (48 min), change to Tanimachi line to Shitennoji Mae Yuhigaoka (2 min).