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Onjo-ji Temple (Mii-dera)

Ishiyama temple

Mii-dera is the head temple of the Tendai Jimon sect of Mahayana Buddhism and is famously shown in the painting "The Evening Bell of Mii-dera" (Mii no Bansho) in the "Eight Views of Omi" (Omi Hakkei) series. The highlight of the national treasure that is Mii-dera is the abundance of historical heritige beginning with the main hall Kannon-do. Mii-dera is temple 14 of the 33 temples on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage of the Kansai region. Its main hall Kannon-do is dedicated to bodhisattva Kannon (Avalokitesvara). Mii-dera was founded in 672, one year after the end of Emperor Tenji's reign and shortly after his death. A dispute over Imperial succession between Emperor Tenji's son Prince Otomo (Emperor Kobun) and Emperor Tenji's brother Prince Oama (Emperor Tenmu) resulted in the Jinshin War. After Prince Otomo (Emperor Kobun) was defeated in the Jinshin War, his son Prince Yota gave away land in memory of his father with the wish of it becoming a temple. Prince Yota presented Prince Oama (Emperor Tenmu) with the Onjo imperial scroll and the temple was founded. During the Jogan era (859-877), High Priest Enchin (Chisho Daishi) revived it as a Tendai branch temple while also giving it the name Mii-dera. After Enchin's death, his followers faced many forms of religious persecution including Mii-dera being burned down due to conflict between the temple orders and riots between clans and dynasties. Nevertheless, supported by his followers, Enchin's teachings live on to this day. During spring, the grounds are adorned with 1,000 blooming cherry blossom trees. While in fall, the changing colors of leaves create a beautiful amber backdrop. Both are illuminated in the evenings and are among the several spectacular sights to see in Mii-dera.

ADDRESS Otsu Mii-dera-cho, 246
TEL 077-522-2238
OPENING HOURS 8:00 - 17:00
FEE 600 yen for adults (550 yen for groups of more than 30 people)
ACCESS 20 minute walk from JR Otsu Station,
15 minute walk from JR Otsukyo Station,
10 minute walk from Keihan Miidera station,
10 minute drive from Meishin Kyoto east IC
PARKING AREA 350 spaces for normal-size vehicles and 30 spaces for large vehicles (w/surcharge)
URL http://www.shiga-miidera.or.jp/