Taimadera Temple (Taima Mandala,location,history)

Taimadera Temple, Taima Mandala

The information about Taimadera Temple is presented here. At Taimadera Temple, there is a legend that Taima Mandala (Konpon Mandala) was woven in one night by Chujo-hime, the daughter of Fujiwara no Toyonari, using lotus threads. Although Taima Mandala was severely damaged, it was designated a national treasure in the arts and crafts category in 1961.

【Taimadera Temple Location Map & Directions】

Address: 1263 Taima, Katsuragi City, Nara Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Taimadera station (about 15 minutes on foot)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: 9:00~17:00
Closed: open year round

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】

Individual: Adults 500 yen, Elementary School Students 250 yen

【Taimadera Temple History】

It is said that the site of Taimadera Temple (當麻寺) is located was once the private domain of En-no-Gyoja (En-no-Oduno), the founder of the Shugendo sect. Taima is said to have been En-no-Gyoja’s first place of training. It is said that Kujaku Myoo, which belonged to En-no-Gyoja, was placed in the womb of Miroku Bosatsu. Taimadera Temple is said to have been founded in 612 as Manpozo-in Temple at Kawachi (Osaka) by Prince Maroko, the 3rd prince of the 31st Emperor Yomei, under the teachings of his elder brother Prince Shotoku-taishi. Manpozo-in Temple housed the status of Guze Kannon. It is also said that Taimadera Temple was moved from Kawachi (Osaka) to Taima (Nara) during the Hakuho period (645-710). There is a place in Taishi Town, Osaka Prefecture that is said to be the ruins of Manpozo-in Temple. Taimadera Temple is said to have originated as a clan temple of Taima-no-Kunimi, who had distinguished himself during the Jinshin-no-Ran of 672, when Ohama-no-miko (the 40th Emperor Tenmu) and Ohtomo-no-oji (the 39th Emperor Kobun), the prince of the 39th Emperor Tendi, were fighting for the imperial throne. One day, Prince Maroko had a dream to move Manpozo-in Temple to the eastern foot of Mt. Nijo-zan (Futakami-yama), and was given the Taima area by En-no-Gyoja and began to build Taimadera Temple. However, construction was delayed by the Jinshin-no-Ran, and after the death of Prince Maroko, his grandson Taima-no-Kunimi took over the task, and in 681, the main statue of Miroku Bosatsu, was housed in Kondo. It is said that through the power of En-no-Gyoja, Shitenno flew in from Kudara, Hitokotononushi Myojin appeared from Mt. Katsuragi-san, and Ryujin (Dragon God) appeared as Kumano Gongen from Kumano. The stone where En-no-Gyoja sat, known as Yogo-seki, remains in front of Kondo, and Ryu Shrine where Kumano Gongen appeared remains at Nakano-bo Temple. It is said that in 673, En-no-Gyoja donated land to the temple, and in 685, the construction of Taimadera Temple began, and in 687, the name of the temple was changed to Taimadera Temple. It is also said that Taimadera Temple was moved from Ajisoji, south of its present location, to its present site around 692. Taima Mandala (Konpon Mandala) was created in 763. Taima Mandala (Konpon Mandala) is a grand representation of the scene of Gokuraku-Jodo (the Pure Land of Paradise) witnessed by Chujo-hime, through the merits of the Sutra. Chujo-hime was beautiful and intelligent, but she was bullied by her stepmother and nearly murdered by her father’s servant, Fujiwara no Toyonari. However, the servant took pity on Chujo-hime, who was reciting sutras in the hope of reaching Gokuraku (Paradise), and left Chujo-hime on Mt. Hibari-yama, where her father, who had reformed, brought her back. Later, it is said that Chujo-hime was ordained at Taimadera Temple, wove Taima Mandala (Konpon Mandala) with lotus threads in one night, and at the age of 29, departed for Gokuraku-Jodo (the Pure Land of Paradise) with the living Amida Nyorai and Nijugo Bosatsu (Twenty-five Bosatsu) who appeared to her. During the Nara period (710-794), To-To (East Pagoda), Sai-To (West Pagoda), Snjudo and Chu-in (Nakano-bo Temple) were built. It is said that in 823, Kobo-daishi Kukai, the founder of the Shingon sect, worshipped Taima Mandala (Konpon Mandala) and converted from the Sanron sect to the Shingon sect. It is said that in 1005, Eshin-sozu Genshin held Mukaeko, which became the origin of Neri Kuyoe-shiki. In 1161, Hondo (Mandarado) was built. In 1180, some of the temple buildings, including Kondo were burned down by Nanto-Yakiuchi of Taira no Shigehira. Later, with the spread of the legend of Chujo-hime, it was revived as a temple of mandala worship. During the Heian period (794-1185), Taimadera Temple developed into a large temple with over 40 Sobo. In 1191, according to the “Kenkyu Gojunreiki”, it is said that Jitsuei, a monk of Kofuku-ji Temple visited Taimadera Temple with Hachijoin, the princess of the 74th Emperor Toba. In 1223, Shoku, wrote the “Taima Mandara-chu”, made more than a dozen copies of Taima Mandala, and enshrined them in various countries. During the Kamakura period (1185-1333), Taima Mandala was worshipped. In 1370, Seia Fukan, the 12th head monk of Chion-in Temple in Kyoto, built Ojo-in (Okuno-in Temple), which became a dual school of the Shingon sect and the Jodo sect. During the Horeki period (1751-1764), monks of the Jodo sect were allowed to participate in Mandarado puja gatherings, which had previously been held only for monks of the Shingon sect. During the Edo period (1603-1867), there were 31 Sobo. At present, there are 13 sub-temples in the temple: Shingon sect (Nakano-bo, Seinan-in, Matsumuro-in, Fudo-in, Takeno-bo) and Jodo sect (Nenbutsu-in, Gonen-in, Raigo-in, Gokuraku-in, Okuno-in, Senbutsu-in, Soin-in, Shiun-in).
*reference・・・Taimadera Temple website

【Taimadera Temple Highlights (May be undisclosed)】

★Hondo (Main Hall, Mandarado, 本堂, 曼荼羅堂, National Treasure) has been dismantled and repaired since 1957, and Naijin (Inner Sanctuary) was built in the Nara period (710-794), remodeled to house the mandala in the early Heian period (794-1185), further expanded in 1161, and the roof is said to have been repaired in 1268. Hondo houses a 5-meter-high zushi containing Taima Mandala, the main image of the temple, on the shumidan donated by Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate. Hondo also houses the statues of Juichimen Kannon (Eleven-faced Kannon) as known as the Oriden Kannon, Raigo Amida Nyorai, Chujo-hime, and En-no-Gyoja (En-no-Oduno) Sanzon.
★To-To (East Pagoda, 東塔, National Treasure) is said to have been built in the late Nara period (710-794). Sai-To (West Pagoda, 西塔, National Treasure) is newer than To-To and is said to have been built in the early Heian period (794-1185). To-To is a Sanju-no-To (three-story pagoda) with a total height of about 24.4 meters. Sai-To is a Sanju-no-To (three-story pagoda) with a total height of about 25.2 meters, which is higher than To-To. Taimadera Temple is said to be the only temple in Japan with both To-To and Sai-To built before the Heian period (794-1185).
★Kondo (金堂, Important Cultural Property) is said to have been rebuilt in the early Kamakura period (1185-1333). Kondo houses the statue of Miroku Bosatsu. The statue of Miroku Bosatsu is said to be the oldest so-zo (statue) in Japan.
★Kodo (lecture hall, 講堂, Important Cultural Property) was destroyed by a military fire in 1180 and rebuilt in 1303. Kodo houses the statue of Amida Nyorai and other statues of Amida Nyorai, Myoto Bosatsu, and Jizo Bosatsu.
當麻寺見どころ (Taimadera Temple Highlights)

【Events (confirmation required)】

★Neri Kuyoe-shiki (練供養会式) is held every year on April 14th. Neri Kuyoe-shiki is a reenactment of Genshin Ohjo (Raigo Insetsu) of Chujo-hime, who was welcomed alive into Gokuraku-Jodo (the Pure Land of Paradise) on the anniversary of her death. At Neri Kuyoe-shiki, Kannon Bosatsu and others walk back and forth between Hondo (Mandarado), which symbolizes Gokuraku-Jodo, and Sabado, which symbolizes the mundane world.

【Flower Calendar (cherry blossoms, etc )】

★The best time to see cherry blossoms (桜) is from early April to late April. Somei-Yoshino, weeping cherry blossoms, and Chujo-hime Seigan-zakura are planted in the precincts and sub-temple, and the scenery of the cherry blossoms, Nio-mon Gate, Hondo, To-To (East Pagoda), and Sai-To (West Pagoda) is said to be beautiful. In Gonen-in, weeping cherry tree said to be 300 years old is planted, and Soto-en Garden with To-To (East Pagoda) and Sai-To (West Pagoda) in the background is a highlight.
★The best time to see peonies (牡丹) is from late April to early May. A total of about 5,000 peonies, several hundred each, are planted in sub-temples, including Okuno-in, Nakano-bo, Seinan-in, Gonen-in, and others, and the scenery of peonies and sub-temples is said to be beautiful. Botan-matsuri is held at Taimadera Temple when peonies are at their best.
(The best time to see the plants depends on the climate of the year.)

【Telephone (Please refrain from making phone calls.)】

Tel: +81-745-48-2001

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended route from Taima Temple is to walk through sub-temples on the temple grounds. In the Taimadera Temple grounds, there are Shingon sect (Nakano-bo, Seinan-in, Matsumuro-in, Fudo-in, Takeno-bo,Nenbutsu-in, Gonen-in, Raigo-in, Gokuraku-in, Okuno-in, Senbutsu-in, Soin-in, and Shiun-in and it is recommended to visit them.

【Remarks(access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】
If you plan to visit Taimadera Temple, be sure to check the latest information.


  1. 柳生一刀石
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  3. 吉野山