Onjo-ji Temple (Mii-dera Temple)

Onjo-ji Temple is the head temple of the Tendaijimon sect of Buddhism, with its “Mii Evening Bell” being famous as one of the scenic “Eight Views of Omi.”

The temple is home to a number of historical relicts. Not least of these relics is its Kan-do Hall, which is a National Treasure. The Kannon-do Hall is the 14th area of sacred ground where amulets are issued in a list of 33 temples in Western Japan dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon.

Onjo-ji Temple’s history begins in 672, when a battle of succession began between two princes following the passing of the Emperor Tenji the year before. This caused the outbreak of the Jinshin War and the short reign of Emperor Kobun (formerly Prince Otomo) was cut short when he was defeated in the Jinshin War. His rival and uncle Emperor Tenmu founded the temple in dedication to the former Emperor. The name of the temple that Emperor Tenmu bestowed on the temple is said to come from an imperial scroll called “Onjo.” During the Jogan Era (859-877), a monk named Enchin (posthumously named Chisho Daishi) revived Onjo-ji as a temple of the Buddhist Tendai sect. Conflict broke out after his death between Onjo-ji Temple and Enryaku-ji Temple, the powerful Genji and Heike clans, and between separate Northern and Southern Imperial courts, which resulted in much religious persecution. Yet, Enchin’s followers preserved with belief in him, and his teachings are still alive to this day.

Onjo-ji Temple lights up its 1,000 blossoming cherry trees in spring, and there are many places to see colorful autumn leaves in the fall.

Address 246 Onjoji-cho, Otsu City
Access ■By train
・20 min walk from JR Otsu Station
・15 min walk from JR Otsu-Kyo Station
・10 min walk from Keihan Mii-dera Station
■By car
10 min from Meishin Expressway Kyoto-Higashi Interchange
Parking 350 cars, 30 large vehicles (Fee required)
Contact TEL: +81-77-522-2238
Business Hours 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Price Adults 600 yen (550 yen for groups of 30 or more)
URL http://www.shiga-miidera.or.jp/translation/eng.html