Nariai-ji Temple (成相寺)

Nariai-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Miyazu City, Kyoto Prefecture. Its honorific mountain prefix is Nariaizan. It is the 28th of the 33 temples that are visited during the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage. The temple's principal image is the Sacred Avalokitesvara. It is an independent temple of Shingon Sect. It offers an unbroken view of Amanohashidate - one of the three most scenic spots of Japan.


According to temple legend, it was founded in 704 by Shino Shonin on the order of Emperor Monmu, but the temple's pre-medieval history cannot be determined for sure. In 2007, Nariai-ji Temple went independent from the Koyasan Shingon Sect to become a nonsectarian Shingon Sect temple.

The temple stands on the side of Mt. Nariai (569m), a location that provides a panoramic view of Amanohashidate, but at the time of its founding was located even higher up the mountain and was a training seminary for shugendo (Japanese mountaineering asceticism). It was relocated to its current location after the landslide of 1400. Its honorific mountain prefix had long been 'Seyasan' (世野山) and the temple is depicted with the words 'Seyasan Nariai-ji' in the "Amanohashidate-zu" painting by Sesshu (Kyoto National Museum collection, National Treasure).

Temples and halls

Main hall: Rebuilt in 1774. The principal image is a statue of Sacred Avalokitesvara that is usually kept hidden from the public view and only revealed once every 33 years with the last time being in 2005.

Five-storey pagoda: Although completed in 1998, this wooden pagoda is recreated the architectural style of the Kamakura period.

Cultural Properties

Important Cultural Properties
1 color painting on silk portrait of guhari-no-Amida (Amitabha depicted in red): painted during the Kamakura period
Tanba-no-Kuni Shoshogo Hosoden Sucho Mokuroku (a catalogue of the areas and the proprietors of manors, temples and shrines in Tango Province)
Iron bathtub; inscribed as 1290
Cultural Properties Designated by the Kyoto Prefectural Government
Main hall (including 2 ridgepole plaques) : Built during the Edo period
Chinju-do (guardian god hall): Built during the Edo period
Belfry: Built during the Edo period
Kujaku Monkei (Buddhist Ritual Gong with Peacock Relief): Dates from 1413
6 Nariai-ji Temple documents and 4 Seisatsu (a wayside board prohibiting certain activities) (including a volume of Nariai ancient records)
7 Lotus Sutra volumes (sutras offered in memorial to the 32nd anniversary of TAIRA no Nariko's death) (including 1 sutra casket): Date from 1394
1 Nariai-ji Temple pilgrimage mandala: Dates from the Muromachi period
Cultural Properties Registered by the Kyoto Prefectural Government
1 Gilt bronze carrying box: Dates from the Muromachi period
Cultural Properties Designated by Miyazu City
Temple bell: Dates from the Edo period


339 Nariai-ji, Miyazu City, Kyoto Prefecture, 629-2241


Alight at Amanohashidate Station on the Kitakinki Tango Railway. Take the sightseeing boat to Ichinomiya Sanbashi pier, then a cable-car or lift to Kasamatsu Park on the mountainside from where the temple gate can be reached by a mountain bus operated by Tango Kairiku Kotsu. The temple can also be reached by ascending the mountain on foot.

Neighboring Pilgrimage Sites
The 33 temples that are visited during the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage
27. Enkyo-ji Temple; 28 Nariai-ji Temple; 29. Matsuno-dera Temple

[Original Japanese]