Onoji and the Giant Miroku Magaibutsu Carving

Date: 25th November 2018

On my way back from Muroji, I stopped by Onoji / Onodera (大野寺), a Shingon sect temple which was said to be built by En no Gyoja, the founder of Shugendo in 681.

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The main hall houses a wooden Jizo statue called the “Migawari Jizo” (Scapegoat Jizo) due to its legend in which it saved an innocent girl who was sentenced to death via burning at the stake.

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Onoji directly faces a cliff-carved statue of Miroku Magaibutsu along Udagawa which dates back to the 13th century. The statue was built by the orders of Emperor Go-Toba (82nd Emperor of Japan) and stands at 13.8m. The carving is not entirely clear (unless when zoomed-in), but is said to be especially clear during sunset.

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As seen with Udagawa
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Up-close

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Onoji is also popular during the sakura season for its two 300 year-old weeping cherry blossom tree, which typically blooms between early to mid April.

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I was here in autumn but it was also lovely to see the temple amidst the maple leaves.

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Info

Opening hours:

  • March 1st to November 30th: 08:00 – 17:00
  • December 1st to February 28th: 08:00 – 16:00

Admission fee: 300 yen (the Miroku Magaibutsu carving can be seen without entering the temple)

Sakurai City Murouji / Onoji Page

Access

Onoji is just a five-minutes walk away from Muroguchi-ono Station and makes a good combined visit with the famous Muroji. The Nara Kotsu bus travelling back from Muroji passes Onoji before reaching Muroguchi-ono station.

 

Author: Jennifer

Hi! I am Jennifer. I enjoy planning my own travels and love traveling in Japan - for the history, nature, temples, and the food! Read more for travel guides of places I have visited.

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