Autumn in Japan

Michelin-star Temple

Established in 717 AD and as the head temple of the Shingon Sector of Buddhism, the Natadera Temple is an expansive temple with hundreds of years old trees, historic buildings designated as Important Cultural Property of Ishikawa Prefecture, and magnificent scenery.

Mountains, rivers, waterfall, and other nature were considered indispensable in the lives of ancient people, and were respected and worshipped — nature itself was considered a god. For over a thousand years, the ancient cedar trees, plants, and the rock formation at Natadera Temple has made it a sacred place to pray to deities. In the old days, people also believed in reincarnation. The caves at Natadera Temple were considered wombs of mothers and places of Umarekiyomaru, the cycle of death, purification, and rebirth. That is also part of the experience when you visit the temple.

Natadera Temple was also destroyed after experiencing 3 wars. In 1640, the third lord of the Kaga Domain rebuilt the temple. Seven of its buildings have been designated as important cultural properties, and two locations as places of scenic beauty. The temple has also been awarded a Michelin star for the beautiful scenery.

Natadera Temple 那谷寺
The first building near the entrance was the central worship pavilion, Kondo Keo-den. It was a reconstruction in 1990, housing a 11-faced Kannon (the goddess of mercy) and other buddhas. When you play respect, please burn 3 incense outside the temple before you walk in.
Natadera Temple 那谷寺
The amazing 11-faced Kannon was the right in the middle of the main hall, standing 7.8 meters tall and was made by cypress wood. Photography in the hall is prohibited and permission is required.
Natadera Temple 那谷寺
One of the ways to communicate your wish to the Goddess of Mercy is to touch the wood outside the temple which is connecting to the statue through a string in the photo.
Natadera Temple 那谷寺
The Study Room on the left of the Kondo Keo-den was built by Maeda Toshitsune, the third lord of the Kaga Domain in 1635 and believed that he lived there before. It was set up with living, a meeting room/prayer room.
Natadera Temple 那谷寺
This “Paradise landscape with strange rocks” is a rocky mountain with strangely formed rocks that were created by ancient volcanic eruptions undersea. This is listed as a National Place of Scenic Beauty.
Natadera Temple 那谷寺
The Honden (the Main Shrine) is built along a cave up on mountain, enshrining the 350 years old 11-faced Goddess of Mercy made by rosewood. The shrine was named a National Treasure in 1941 and an Important Cultural Property in 1950.
Natadera Temple 那谷寺
The 3-storey pagoda is also an Important Cultural Property built by the third lord in 1640.
Natadera Temple 那谷寺
After passing the pagoda, there is a winding red bridge that leads you to the observation platform.
Natadera Temple 那谷寺
Spectacular mountain view from the Chinju-do Observation Platform. While most of the shrines and temples in Japan are famous for cherry blossom, Natadera Temple is well known for the autumn foliage. This is a photo taken end of October, this will be really beautiful in mid of November.
Natadera Temple 那谷寺
Before you leave, make sure you take a photo of this heart-shaped plant.
Natadera Temple 那谷寺
Address: Yu 122 Natamachi Komatsu Shi, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan
Tel: 0761-65-2111
Admission fee: ¥600 for adult, ¥300 for children aged 7-12
Opening hours: 08:30 – 16:45 (Mar to Nov), 08:45 – 16:30 (Dec to Feb)
費用:成人 ¥600,7-12歲小童 ¥300
開放時間:08:30 – 16:45 (3月至11月),08:24 – 16:30 (12月至2月)

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