Natadera Temple (ߒJ) near Awazu Onsen is a temple of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. The large temple grounds feature multiple buildings, a pond garden and a characteristic rock face with handcut meditation caves and steps carved into the cliffside.

The temple was founded in 717 by a Buddhist monk who visited nearby Mount Hakusan in search of a goddess believed to reside there. After realizing that the goddess was Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy and compassion, the monk carved a wooden image of Kannon, which together with Mount Hakusan remains Natadera's main object of worship today.

Natadera's grounds are spacious and take at least half an hour to explore. Visitors first come across the recently reconstructed Kondo Hall which houses a large statue of Kannon. A treasure house stands next door. Further back on the grounds is the rocky cliffside with a pond garden at its base. Unfortunately, visitors are currently not allowed to climb up the cliffside due to safety and preservation concerns.

In the very back of the grounds stands the main shrine, built partially into a large cave. The building stores the temple's main object of worship, the wooden statue of Kannon. A three storied pagoda and an observation deck overlook the entire temple grounds from the hillside opposite the cliff. A bell tower and a few more auxiliary buildings are located along the wooded paths back to the entrance.

Getting there and around

Natadera Temple is served by Can Buses (Yamamawari Route). The bus ride from Kaga Onsen Station takes about 50 minutes, and there are 1-2 departures per hour.

How to get to and around Kaga Onsen

Hours and Fees




Hotels around Kaga Onsen

    • Araya Totoan
      Genuine traditional ryokan in the heart of Yamashiro Onsen. Enjoy the refined cuisine with its esthetic tranquility. Complementary shuttle from JR Kaga Onsen Sta.
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