Kosanji Temple (kO, Kōsanji) is located on Ikuchijima Island and belongs to the True Pure Land Sect of Japanese Buddhism. The temple was founded in 1936 by a successful businessman who was inspired by his devotion to his mother. The construction of the temple took more than 30 years. If visitors to the temple are surprised by a strong feeling of deja vu, it is because many of the buildings are modeled after some of Japan's most famous temple buildings.

The replicas of famous buildings at Kosanji are quite impressive, including copies of Nikko Toshogu's Yomeimon Gate and Byodoin's Phoenix Hall. The complex of buildings at the temple are on the whole colorful and varied, while still retaining a coherent style. Another highlight of the temple is a long cave in which a series of images are displayed that illustrate the tortures of Buddhist hell.

Miraishin no Oka
A replica of Nikko's Yomeimon gate

On the top of a hill within the temple grounds there is a large walking area called Miraishin no Oka, which means Heights of Eternal Hope for the Future. It is made entirely of marble imported from Italy, and features a few abstract statues, including a statue called Tower of Light at the very peak of the hill. There is also an Italian restaurant called Cafe Cuore, which is also made of marble.

Miraishin no Oka does not have any religious functions as part of Kosanji, but is rather one of the temple's artistic properties. Some of the temple's other art is housed within buildings on the temple's main grounds, and includes works of Buddhist sculpture, painting, modern art, and objects related to the Japanese tea ceremony.

The purification trough at the temple's entrance
The caves of Kosanji

Access

By bicycle

The temple is located along the Shimanami Kaido cycling route, about 30 kilometers from Onomichi.

By ferry

There is a ferry from Onomichi (Onomichi Ekimae Port in front of Onomichi Station) to Sawa Port or Setoda Port on Ikuchijima Island (40 minutes, 1200 yen one way, 400 yen for a bicycle, 8 boats per day). The temple is about a 15 minute walk away from either port.

By bus

There is a local bus from Onomichi Station bound for Setoda Port that stops in front of the temple along the way (1 hour, 1110 yen one way, one bus every 2-5 hours).

How to get to and around Onomichi

Hours & Fees

Hours

9:00 to 17:00

Closed

No closing days

Admission

1400 yen

Tours and travel services

Page last updated: April 16, 2018