To the undiscerning eye, the area around Osaka Station is your typical bustling business district. However, just ten minutes east of Osaka Station is Doyama-cho; the biggest gay district in Osaka. A few minutes south of Doyama-cho is Togano-cho, an area densely packed with nightclubs and love hotels. Then smack in the middle of these two districts is one of the most historic temples in Osaka, Taiyu-ji Temple [太融寺].
The History of Taiyu-ji Temple
Kukai, the founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism and the Kongobu-ji Temple in Koyasan built Taiyu-ji in 821 C.E. Minamito no Tooru [源 融] later expanded the temple grounds. Because of his contribution to the temple the “yu” of “Taiyu-ji” [融], was specifically selected because it can alternately be read as “tooru”.
*FYI Minamito no Tooru was the inspiration for Hikaru Genji of Lady Murasaki’s The Tales of Genji.
Taiyuji is only 10 minutes walk from Umeda, or JR Osaka Station. Taiyu-ji’s pagoda is very lovely, but the tall buildings around it can make it a little hard to see.
The Grave of Lady Yodo
Near the west side of the temple is a small bell tower. Behind this bell tower is the grave of Lady Yodo [淀殿], the second wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. She, long with Hideyoshi’s only son Hideyori, killed themselves at the end of the Siege of Osaka. After the siege, their bodies were buried in Seiryo-ji and Yodo-hime Shrine, respectively. Later, the grave of Lady Yodo was moved to Taiyuji.