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Nagoya-City Arako Kannon Temple

  • Arako Kannon Temple

Aichi’s capital, Nagoya, has a long history, but due to the repeated and heavy air raid bombings of WW2, very few historical buildings remain. The oldest building still standing in the city is part of the Arako Kannon Temple, one of the cities four main Kannon Temples dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy, Kannon.

Fire has not been merciful to the temple founded in the eighth century by the monk, Taicho-Taishi. The main prayer hall burned down as recently as 1994, and was rebuilt three years later, however the Tahoto Pagoda, dating from 1536, survived and is the cities’ oldest remaining wooden structure. The classically styled two-story pagoda is now recognized as a National Important Cultural Property. Records reveal that the pagoda was rebuilt by local carpenters using parts salvaged from an earlier temple building on the same site. The temple’s gates and other structures worth visiting also remain.

Mysterious Monk, Enku

The Arako Kannon Temple houses one of the largest collections of carvings by the mysterious monk, Enku. (1632-1696) Born in neighboring Mino, Enku traveled the country, carving some 4,562 unique Buddhist images. Of those carvings, 3,116 can be found in Aichi prefecture, with 1,240 figures left to Enku’s close friend, the Arako Kannon’s 10th abbot, Ensei, following his stay in 1676.

During that stay, Enku is believed to have carved over a thousand figures, ranging from only a few centimeters high, to the huge three meter tall works seen guarding the temple’s ancient gates. In 1972, the temple’s chief priest opened some old boxes stored in the Tahoto Pagoda and discovered another 1,255 carefully packed Enku carvings. An Enku museum was established, and the collection is open to the public on the afternoon of the second Saturday of every month.

Entry to the temple is free, however there is a 500 Yen cover charge to see the Enku carvings. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Aichi on the second Saturday of the month, head on out to Arako Kannon Temple, to see the fascinating Buddhist carvings, and Nagoya’s oldest building.

SPOT OVERVIEW

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Location : 〒454-0861
138, Miyamado, Arako-cho, Nakagawa-ward, Nagoya-City, Aichi
Phone number : 052-361-1778, 052-972-2732(Research and Planning, Street Planning Division, City Planning Department, Housing & City Planning Bureau)

Note: This page may not be current due to update time differences between site databases.
Should accuracy be critical, please verify this information using a direct source, whenever possible.

ACCESS

  • Access by public transport
    Access by public transport
    ・From Nagoya station, take the Aonami Line. Alight at Arako Station and 10 minutes' walk.
    ・From Nagoya station, take the subway Higashiyama line. Alight at Takabata Station and 10 minutes' walk from exit4.
  • Access by car
    Access by car
    16 minutes from Nagoya Station.

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