Daianji Temple

Description: 

Nowadays, Nara people often tell the beautiful story about the ritual to confine illness with sake in a bamboo cup held at Daianji temple every year. It used to happen here that the old Emperor Konin, called Shirakabe-ou often visits Daianji temple before coming to the throne. He loved the poetic atmosphere in the bamboo forest and loved to enjoy a cup of warm sake here. The fresh and tranquil air of Daianji helped Shirakabe-ou get a better health, then he came to the throne even when he was 62 years old. With all his heart to pray for the world without war and illness, the festival to drive off illness began to be held at Daianji, specialized by sake in a bamboo cup.

daianji_temple_welcomekansai

Source: Blog Yahoo

Daianji is present at the seven greatest temples in Nara including Todaiji, Daianji, Yakushiji, Saidaiji, Gangoji, Horyuji and Kofukuji, staying as one of the oldest temples in Japan. In about the 7th century, Prince Shotoku established a monastery called Kumagori-Shoja to prayer for peace and health of his citizens. At the doorstep of death, he told the Emperor Jomei his wish to change monastery into a great temple. The temple was born that way with the original name of Kudarano-Otera, changed into Takechino-Otera after its relocation to the capital city of Fujiwara-kyo then finishing with the current name in the Asuka time. However, it was moved one more time to the present place in 710 when the capital was moved, too.

daianji_temple_welcomekansai

Source: Blog Yahoo

Even though Daianji had a resplendent time in Nara period as the nation’s principal temple with 887 scholarly monks even from India, China and Vietnam, it overcame a significant regression due to repeated disasters. Thanks to the restoration over years, Daianji day by day takes its original form back, welcoming visitors over the world to its meaningful service for peace and health as well as important statues of Buddhism. The principal image of Daianji is the Eleven-Headed Kannon of the Tempyo era. The standing statue of Yoryu Kannon is enshrined in the Treasure house, carrying a twig of willow with a calm impression.

daianji_temple_welcomekansai

Source: Blog Yahoo

There are two important festivals held in Daianji temple, one is Konin'e to confine cancer with sake in a bamboo cup held on January 23rd. On that day, from the early morning, warmed sake starts to be served in bamboo cups inside the ground of Daianji, emitting a sweet scented fragrance over the temple. The other festival is Take-kuyo, a summer festival also to confine cancer held on June 23rd. In China, it is the bamboo day, the good day to plant and express thanks to bamboo trees. Just an other form of Konin'e, this is the summer version of Konin'e to confine cancer.

Open time: 
From 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Closing day: the second Sunday of every month.
-Sutra copying workshop starts at 10:00 am.
-Goma Kigan-Lighting a holy fire for invocation: starting at 1:00 pm and the sermon is preached after Goma Kigan
Special Exhibition
- The main image Eleven-Headed Kannon: October 1st to November 30th
- The secret statue Bato Kannon: March 1st to 31st
Admission: 
Adult: 400 yen
High school student: 300 yen
Junior high school student: 200 yen
Elementary school student and younger: 100 yen
How to access: 

Take a bus at Kintetsu-Nara station or JR-Nara station for Daianji or Sharp-mae or Shiratsuchi-cho and get off at Daianji bus stop then take a 10 minute walk to the temple.