Walk the Seven Slopes of Tennoji
On the south side of Osaka Castle, along Kamimachi-suji street from Naniwano Miya to Tennoji is an area crowded with approx. 200 temples and shrines. Once Hideyoshi enforced dominance over the temples and ordered them to serve as fortresses. Many of these temples accept worshippers without an admission fee. Follow the seven slopes of Tennoji going through the townhouses and temples/shrines. It is a town where prayer is alive in everyday life.
|Subway Tanimachi Line Tanimachi 9 chome Station|
|1.||3 min walk||Ikutama Jinja Shrine|
|2.||15 min walk||Reienji Temple|
|3.||A short walk|
|4.||5 min walk|
|5.||10 min walk|
|6.||15 min walk|
|7.||A short walk|
|8.||15 min walk|
|9.||3 min walk|
|10.||5 min walk|
1. Ikutama Jinja Shrine
Clime up Shingonzaka slope to find Ikutama Jinja, located in the north of Kamimachi plateau. The premises are airy and comfortable with tall trees. Ikutama Jinja, commonly called "Ikutamasan" started when Emperor Jimmu came up to Osaka from Kyushu and worshipped the gods of the land "Ikushimano kami" and "Tarushimano kami". The architectural style is "Ikutama construction" where the main hall and gift offering hall are connected by a single roof. It is the only one in Japan and is very precious. There is a memorial to Hikohachi Yonezawa, an ancestor of Kamigata Rakugo who performed here and a bronze statue of Saikaku Ihara.
2. Reienji Temple
This temple is on the left of the end of Genshojizaka (slope from the south side of Genshoji in Shitaderamachi 1chome to Ikutama teramachi. The view of Teramachi from here is fantastic. It was opened in Sanadayama as a temple of the Soto sect in 1620, and moved to the current site in 1623. It was famous for cherry blossoms which were called "Higan cherry blossoms of Reienji" in the Edo era. There is the grave of Togai Fujisawa, a Confucianist who started a private school, Hakuen Shoin, in the final days of the Tokugawa regime and his son Nangaku, also a Confucianist. The Roryu Kannon, connected with Roryu Hara, one of the three greatest doctors in Naniwa along with Koan Ogata and Hosaku Saito, attracts worshippers wishing for cures from sickness. Wishing for health, let us pray.
3. Ginzanji Temple
Ginzanji, facing Reienji, has beautiful double petal cherry blossoms. It was originally named Daifukuji in 1591. Later Hideyoshi donated his own portrait and repaired the temple, and named it "Hojuzan (meaning treasure mountain) Ginzanji (literally silver mountain". That is why the family crest of Hideyoshi can be found on the roof tile on the former gate. There is a statue of Buddha known as "Painful Training Buddha", trying to achieve enlightenment by undergoing severe training right after becoming a monk. In the cemetery, there is the twin grave of Ochiyo and Hanbei, characters in "Shinju Yoigoushin" by Monzaemon Chikamatsu.
4. Manpukuji Temple
Invited by a unique fence, look in to find a beautiful garden in back. Breathe in the greenery-scented air deeply, and take a break physically and mentally. It was opened by a monk, Kaido, brother of Toshiie Maeda in 1594. "Osaka Shinsengumi Tonjo" was placed by the three Tani brothers of Sanjuro, Mantaro and Shuhei, and Susumu Yamazaki. The affray with the Osaka sumo wrestlers, the attack at Ishikuraya Zenzai, etc, were carried out from this Tonjo as the main base. A must-see for Shinsengumi fans.
5. Kuchinawazaka Slope
Looking up from the bottom of the slope, it looks like kuchinawa (meaning snakes), from which came the name. Unlike the name, the slope of stone pavement to stone steps is gentle and beautiful. On the way, fully opened drooping cherry blossoms show their beautiful figures from the garden of Zenryuji in springtime. It is a photo opportunity spot for amateur cameramen. There is a literature memorial to Sakunosuke Oda who was born on Kamimachi plateau. A passage from "City of trees" is engraved there.
6. Oe Jinja Shrine
Oe Jinja is located next to Aizenzaka, a little further up the relatively steep stone steps. It is one of the seven shrines Prince Shotoku established to guard Shitennoji (the other shrines; Kaminomiya, Ogi, Dotou, Kobore, Kubo, and Horikoshi). The image of Bishamonten made by his own hands is the main object of worship, and the monks of Shitennoji manage the rituals. It has always been noted for the sunset, so there is a memorial to "Yuhioka" on the premises. "Yuhian" where a poet called Ietaka Fujiwara spent his last days in the neighborhood. Instead of guardian dogs, the shrine has guardian tigers. Countless Hanshin Tigers Fans come to worship here, and there are numerous goods that fans have placed with their worship. We can feel their impressive faith in sporting victory.
7. Shomanin / Aizendo
Right after leaving Oe Jinja, proceed to Shomanin (Aizendo) famous for the "Aizen Festival". Aizen myoo, the main object of worship, has an angry visage, however, he is a god of love, tender at heart. So he is worshipped by artists and people who wish to marry, as a Buddha of giving charm/good luck. The Double tiered pagoda in back of the main hall was rebuilt by Hideyoshi in 1594. It is the oldest wooden construction in existence in Osaka City, designated as an Important Cultural Property. There is a well saying "Become attractive if taken", so let's drink from it.
8. Kiyomizuzaka, Tenjinzaka Slope
Kiyomizuzaka is a slope of stone pavement between Kiyomizudera and Osaka Seiko Gakuin. Tenjinzaka is a way to Yasui Jinja dedicated to Michizane Sugawara, between Reinincho and Ousaka 1chome. Osaka is called a city of water, but a long time ago the well water quality in the city was bad, and it was difficult to secure potable water. In such circumstances, the good water of Kamei, Ousaka, Tamate, Yasui, Masui, Arisu, and Kinryu sprang out and they were called the Good Seven Waters of Tennoji. There is a monument by Osaka City Public Works Bureau. It is a quiet residential area. Not only the water but also the air feels delicious.
9. Yasui Jinja Shrine
Yasui Jinja built on the side of Tenjinzaka has a small wooden main hall. When Michizane Sugawara was demoted to Dazaifu in 901, he stopped here to take a rest on the way to his aunt in Kawachi. The villagers built a shrine after that. Meanwhile Yukimura Sanada, a brave warrior on the Toyotomi side who was injured in the summer battle of Osaka was attacked here by the Tokugawa side army and met his end. There is a memorial of his death beside the main hall.
10. Isshinji Temple
An impressive temple gate by the current priest who is also an architect. It was opened in 1185. It was the headquarters of Ieyasu Tokugawa in the winter and summer battles of Osaka. There is the grave of Tadaasa Honda, a warlord of the Tokugawa side who died in the summer battle of Osaka. It is also famous for the Bone Buddha, Amitabha Buddha made of the bones of the deceased. In addition to worshippers, it attracts many visitors for various events held in the Ishhinji Theater Club built next to the temple. Cross Tennoji Park from Isshinji, Tennoji Station is right in front of you.