In the heart of the urban jungle that is Osaka lies a scenic Buddhist temple that claims to be the oldest in Japan. Shitenno-ji Temple, located in the Tennoji neighborhood, is a quiet spiritual refuge with a tranquil turtle-filled pond, annual naked men festival, and the tallest building in Japan, Abeno Harukas, as its backdrop.
The overused but not unfounded cliche that Japan offers a unique juxtaposition of traditional and modern wherever you turn is on full display at this ancient holy site.
Shitenno-ji Temple grounds
Shitenno-ji was established in 593 AD by Prince Shotoku, an early and devout supporter of the budding Buddhist religion which had just spread to Japan from China at the time. While its claim to be Japan’s oldest temple is tough to prove, it is indisputably the first to ever have been built by the state.
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