Minamihokke-ji Temple (南法華寺)

Minamihokke-ji Temple located in Takatori-cho, Takaichi-gun, Nara Prefecture is a temple of the Shingon sect. Its sango (prefix of a Buddhist temple) is Tsubosaka-san. It is commonly known as Tsubosaka-dera Temple. Reported to have been founded in 703, it is the stamp office for temple number 6 of Saigoku Sanjusankasho (the 33 temples that are visited during the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage).

Its honzon (principal image of Buddha), Juichimen Kannon-zo (the statue of Eleven-faced Kannon), is believed to have miraculous efficacy of treating eye diseases. It is also famous for a setting of a ningyo joruri(traditional Japanese puppet theater) titled "Tsubosaka Reigenki" that describes conjugal affection between Osato and Sawaichi. Elderly nursing home Jiboen is on the temple's ground.

It has a statue of Goddess of Mercy called 'Tenjiku Torai Daikannon Zo,' donated in return for the contribution of the former chief to anti-Hansen's disease activities in India
Its marble statue is magnificent with about 20 m of height and a gross weight of 1,200 t. It has other objects brought from India: a large stone relief, Butsudenzu (Illustrated Biographies of the Buddha), and Tenjiku Torai Ishido (an Indian-style large stone hall).


It remains unknown how it was founded. According to a tradition, it was founded by Benki Shonin of Gango-ji Temple in 703. It is also called Minami (south) Hokke-ji Temple, while Kiyomizu-dera Temple is known as Kita (north) Hokke-ji Temple. It flourished as a sacred place of Kannon Pilgrimage along with Hase-dera Temple since for long.

Goeika (Buddhist hymn)

The garden in Tsubosaka has rocks and plenty of water and is paved with fine-grained gravel; it is just like Jodo (the Pure Land).


Hondo (main hall): It was rebuilt in the Edo period. Raido (worship hall): It was built before the middle of the Muromachi period. Its style is irimoya-zukuri (a hip-and-gable roof construction, or a building with this roof construction) and hongawarabuki (tile roofing in which round and square tiles are laid down alternately). It enshrines eleven-faced Thousand-armed Kannon Bosatsu zazo (sitting statue of the Kannon) a seated statue of the eleven-faced and one thousand-armed Kannon popular as the miracle-working Kannon-sama for eyes.

Three-storied pagoda: It was built in 1479 in the Muromachi period.

Cultural properties
Important Cultural Properties
Raido (worship hall)
Three-storied pagoda
Hoo Monsen (tile patterned with a image of phoenix) (the early Nara period)
Color painting on silk: Ichijikinrin Mandala-zu (Kamakura period)

Other cultural properties

Wooden seated statue of the eleven-faced one thousand-armed Kannon Bosatsu
Wooden statue of Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana)
Wooden standing statues of Zochoten and Tamonten

Main events

18th of every month except for February and June: Kannon fair
August 18: Segaki-e (hungry ghosts' feeding rites)

11-minute drive by bus of Nara Kotsu Bus Lines Co., Ltd. bound for Tsubosakazan, which runs from Tsubosakazan Station of Kintetsu Corporation Yoshino Line. 5-minute walk from the terminal bus stop, Tsubosakazan.

Exit at the Koriyama Interchange (Nara Prefecture) of Nishimeihan Jidoshado Expressway and take National Route 24 and then National Route 169. Enter Nara Prefectural Road No. 119 Asuka-Kiyomizudera line at Tsubosaka-guchi and drive 2 km.

Scenic and historic places around neighborhood

Kume-dera Temple
Oka-dera Temple
Asuka-dera Temple
Tachibana-dera Temple
Kashihara-Jingu Shrine
Takatori-jo Castle site

Next fudasho (temples where amulets are collected)
Saigoku Sanjusankasho (the 33 temples that are visited during the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage)
5 Fujii-dera Temple -- 6 Tsubosaka-dera Temple (Minamihokke-ji Temple) -- 7 Ryugai-ji Temple (Ryugai-ji Temple)

[Original Japanese]