If you love visiting shrines and temples during autumn, the best recommendation would be Nikko Toshi-gu (refer to our article!). However, besides Nikko, there are many other attractions that you can visit too. If you are heading to Keihanshin, located in the Nara Prefecture, there is a shrine which is only an hour away from Osaka City or half an hour away from Nara City – the best place to enjoy autumn and enjoy the culture in a shrine – Tanzan Shrine!
Picture Source: http://photo1.ganref.jp/
Tansan Shrine is located in the south of the Nara Prefecture, it is located in the mountainsand hence, the crowd is lesser. The transportation getting there is pretty straight forward, take the Osaka Line from Namba or Tsuruhashi Station, or JR to Sakaru Station, get out at the south exit, and take the local bus (about 25 minutes) to Tanzan Shrine Station. It is a few minutes’ walk from the station; you can enjoy the view along the walk to Tanzan Shrine.
There is a bus ride every one hour, but pay attention to the return schedule!
Tanzan Shrine is one of the important shrines in Kansai; it is very focused on religious matters. The shrine has enshrines many different deities, there is also a “Longevity” deity in here! Due to its location, the view is filled with mountains and forest like characteristics. During autumn, there is also the Tanan Shrine Autumn Festival which attracts many visitors to watch autumn leaves in here!
After you get down from the bus, you will have to walk through a shopping street before you reach the Tanzan Shrine
At the entrance of the shrine, there is a long staircase
Although it was early autumn, but many red leaves can be seen
One of the highlights of the Tanzan Shrine is – Japan’s one and only 13 storey wooden pagoda, even the 5 storey pagoda in Nikko Toshi-gu can’t be compare to this one. Its image was once printed on the bank notes before the Japanese war! Besides the pagoda, there are many small temples where you can worship, the main hall is built using high platform and decorated with classical Japanese-style. You can also enjoy the beautiful scenery from the platform!
The shrine is built on a platform, you can overlook the mountains and red leaves
You can enjoy the autumn leaves while walking around the shrine
In the early November, the leaves haven’t fully turned red
The only 13 storey pagoda in Japan!
The shrine is also famous for watching autumn leaves. Between the mid of November to December, it is covered with different shapes of red leaves, you will able to see the yellow and silver gingko trees too. It is the best place for couples who want to spend some time in the shrine while enjoying the view!
Besides red leaves, there is also gingko trees in the compound of the shrine
There is a love shrine which is very famous for its love deity
When it is less crowded, the torii and huge trees seem mysterious
Though the Tanzan Shrine is not as famous as Nikko Tosho-gu, but it is also known as one of the important shrines in Kansai. There are many highlights worth visiting in the shrine area. It is definitely recommended. Also, it is very close to Nara City, you can arrange it on the same day when you visit Nara Park!
On the way back, it is recommended to try out the hot kusa mocha, it is only 100 Yen and tastes delicious, the best snack during a cold weather!