Katsuo-ji Temple, Osaka’s Hidden Daruma Temple

Tucked away in the mountains of north Osaka the 23rd temple of Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage, Katsuo-ji Temple [勝尾寺]. This ancient temple has quite a reputation. For one, the temple has long been a place for people seeking prosperity and success; the katsu [勝] of Katsuo-ji even means victory. The other reason why the temple is so popular is it is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery. In particular, the fall foliage here is so beautiful that it attracts thousands of visitors from all over Osaka every year.


Katsuo-ji Temple


About Katsuo-ji Temple

According to temple records, in the 8th century, two brothers from the powerful Fujiwara clan built a little hut on the site of the future temple. Then, in the late 8th century, the son of Emperor Konin became a monk here and this hut officially became a temple bearing the name Miroku-ji Temple [弥勒寺].

Much later, Emperor Seiwa came down with a life-threatening illness. The monks of this temple prayed night and day for the emperor’s recovery and as luck would have it the emperor did indeed get better. This turn of events proved that the temple held immense spiritual power and was renamed to Katso-ji.

Katsuo-ji Temple continued to prosper as it became one of the temples of the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. Katsuo-ji’s fortunes have not dimmed over the centuries and it remains a popular place for many people to visit to pray for victory in their exams, love, business, etc.

the gate was rebuilt in 1603.

Katsuo-ji Temple Grounds

Once you enter the temple ground, you will see the bridge. As you cross the bridge, the bridge releases a mist, for some reason. In any case, the contrast of the mist and the leaves looks very stunning together!

The fall foliage is really pretty here
Katsuoji is really pretty
pagoda and colorful fall faliage

The most iconic thing about Katsuoji is that there are daruma omikuji and daruma dolls everywhere. 

Daruma is often used to pray for victory in important events in Japan, such as entrance exams and even elections. Daruma is always sold without any eyes, so you have to draw his left eye while you praying for the victory and after your wish comes true, you are supposed to draw his right.

Surprisingly, daruma is based on an actual monk called Darma, who sat for meditation so long that his legs and arms fell over. 

Daruma are often red 
more dauruma
Chinjudo. if you get close to it…
so many daruma!!


Temple Buildings

After a little while, the path will bring you to the top of the hill where the main temple building, the hondo, stands.

Since Katsuo-ji Temple is part of the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage, the main deity here is Kannon Botatsu. This temple specifically has an eleven-faced statue of Kannon Bosatsu. Unfortunately, the statue is only open for public view on the 18th of every month, so you might want to double-check your calendar ahead of time.

Hondo: Though it looks quite new, it dates back to 1603.
so many daruma even around hondo!


Though Katsuo-ji Temple is most popular during the fall, it is very beautiful year-round. In the spring, the temple is busting with sakura, and in the summer, many hydrangeas bloom here too! Try to come if you can!  

Information: Katsuo-ji Temple


2914-1 Aomatani, Minoo City, Osaka Prefecture





Getting To

To reach Katsuo-ji Temple, take a bus from Kita-senri Station or Senri-chuo. It takes roughly 45 minutes from either station. 

Buses only come once every two hours on weekdays and once an hour on weekends. Be sure to check the bus schedule before going to Katsuo-ji Temple 

So here is our travel tip! To get to Minoo Waterfall from Katsuo-ji, take the bus and get off at the Ao Danchi bus stop on the way to Senri-chuo Station. There you can get on a bus bound for Minoo Station. Buses to Minoo are pretty frequent, so not only is this a great shortcut, but it saves money too!






400 yen






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