Enmeiji Temple, Osaka’s Autumn Hidden Gem
Out of the way of the bustle of Osaka City is the Okukawachi region. In this quiet and beautiful place, lies Enmeiji Temple [延命寺]. Though just a short to minutes from Namba, Osaka natives know that Enmeiji is one of the best places to go for an autumn sojourn. Perhaps best of all, even during peak season, the temple is rarely crowded.
Enmeiji Temple, which is located in the bottom of a quaint ravine. During autumn, all the Japanese maple become a glow with hues of red, yellow and orange. Since it is not a big temple at all, you can see the temple in ten minutes or so.
According to temple records, Kukai created this temple to enshrine Jizo Bosatsu, but oddly there is no Jizo Bosatsu on the temple grounds today. Currently, the main deity of Enmeiji Temple is Nyoirin Kannon.
The most famous thing here is the Yuubae Momiji [夕照もみじ]. Allegedly planted by Kukai himself, the Yuubae Momiji is a Japanese maple that is some 800 to 1,000 years old. The tree’s name is made up of the characters for evening [夕] and shine [照] and as its name suggests, this tree is especially beautiful at sunset.
Some years ago, a typhoon split the tree in half, but somehow the main root system managed to survive. Today, the tree is still alive and well, but now it is growing in two different directions.
Oku-kawachi Momoji Park
Just next Enmeiji, there is a free park, Oku-kawachi Momiji Park. It has a really nice fall foliage, and the best thing is significantly less people.
Information: Enmeiji Temple
Kamigaoka 492, Kawachinagano City, Osaka Prefecture
The closest station to Enmeiji Temple is Mikanodai Station, which is off the Nankai Koya Line. Then, take either the #40 or #41 bus from Mikanodai Station and get off at the Kamigaoka bus stop. After that it is just a short 10 minute and you are there!
Many people visit Kanshinji Temple after going to Enmeiji. The hiking trail that connects both temples also makes it very convenient to visit both. Kanshinji Temple is the most popular temple in Okukawachi region, make sure to visit Kanshinji too!