Osu Kannon (大須観音, Ōsu Kannon) is a popular Buddhist temple in central Nagoya. Originally built during the Kamakura Period (1192-1333) in neighboring Gifu Prefecture, the temple was moved to its current site by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1612 after the original temple had been repeatedly damaged by severe flooding. The current buildings are 20th century reconstructions.
The main object of worship at the temple is a wooden statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, which was carved by Kobo Daishi, an instrumental figure in Japanese Buddhism. Underneath Osu Kannon's main hall is the Shinpukuji Library which contains over 15,000 classic Japanese and Chinese texts. Among these texts are several national treasures and important cultural properties, including the oldest copy of the Kojiki, a chronicle of the early history of Japan including its mythological origins.
A flea market is held on the temple grounds on the 18th and 28th of every month. The modestly sized market includes around 60 stalls selling everything from souvenirs and antiques to clothes and second hand goods. Just beside the temple is the entrance to the Osu Shopping Arcade, a network of aging but charming covered shopping streets with over 400 shops and restaurants. The area is sometimes compared to Tokyo's Akihabara district as there are a lot of stores that specialize in electronics, cosplay, anime, J-pop and idol goods.
Osu Kannon Temple is a few steps from Osu Kannon Station on the Tsurumai Subway Line. From Nagoya Station take the Higashiyama Subway Line and transfer to the Tsurumai Line at Fushimi Station. The one way trip from Nagoya Station to the temple takes about ten minutes and costs 210 yen.
Alternatively, the temple is a 5-10 minute walk from Kamimaezu Station on the Tsurumai and Meijo Subway Lines, via the shopping arcade next to the temple.