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Tsubosakadera Temple's 'Great Cherry Blossom Buddha': Video Introduction

This video, titled "[Cherry Blossoms via Drone in 4K] The Great Cherry Blossom Buddha at Tsubosakadera Temple, Nara (Long Ver. )|Cherry Blossom Drone Project" ([桜ドローン撮影4K] 奈良県壺阪寺の大仏桜 Tsubosaka-dera Temple, Nara (Long Ver. )|桜ドローンプロジェクト). was uploaded by "DRONE ENTERTAINMENT - Sakura Drone Project."

This video shows beautiful images of the cherry blossoms in full bloom and the Great Buddha at Tsubosakadera Temple taken from the sky during Japan's cherry blossom season. In the video you can see the cherry blossoms from the perspective of the Great Buddha, which can only be achieved with drone photography. The illuminated scenery of the temple grounds at night is different from that of the daytime, and it is a fantastic view. Take your time to watch the beautiful scenery in the video.

Nara, Home to Some of the Most Famous Temples in Japan

Nara, Japan is home to approximately 1,800 temples, some of which, such as Todaiji Temple, the largest temple in Nara, are the most famous in Japan. It's even home to the Nanto Shichi Daiji (Seven Great Temples of Nara), or the Seven Great Temples of the Southern Capital. The Seven Great Temples of Nara are: Daianji Temple, Gangoji Temple, Horyuji Temple, Kofukuji Temple, Saidaiji Temple, Todaiji Temple, and Yakushiji Temple. The vast number of temples and other tourist attractions, coupled with the long history of Nara, make it a destination in Japan that's definitely worth visiting.

What is Tsubosakadera Temple?

Image of the Buddha at Tsubosakadera Temple, Nara Prefecture
Photo:The Buddha at Tsubosakadera Temple, Nara Prefecture

Tsubosakadera Temple, famous for the Great Cherry Blossom Buddha, is a Shingon sect temple located in Takatori, Nara, in Japan's Kansai Region. Although it's known by the names "Great Cherry Blossom Buddha" and "Tsubosakadera Temple," its official name is Minami Hokkeji Temple. The temple was founded in 703 by Benki Shonin, a Buddhist priest.

The temple's name is said to have originated when Benki Shonin, a monk of Gankoji Temple who was undergoing ascetic training, enshrined the Goddess of Kannon in a crystal vase in a hermitage on a hill.
The main deity of the temple is the eleven-faced, thousand-armed Kannon (Avalokitesvara), and since it is believed to be protect against eye diseases, visitors from all over Japan come to Tsubosakadera Temple to pray for protection.

The temple is also famous for its hina dolls, which are arranged in the shape of a mandala, a sacred symbol in Buddhism. Approximately 3,000 dolls are displayed around the eleven-faced thousand-armed Kannon. In the inner sanctuary of Tsubosakadera Temple, there is also a stone structure called Go-Hyakku Rakan (Five Hundred Arhats) featuring many Buddhist statues.

Some things that make the temple unique are its solar power generation system, which is not something you'd find at other temples in Japan, as well as several large Budda statues on the temple grounds that were carved in, and imported from, India.

When do the Cherry Blossoms Bloom at Tsubosakadera Temple?

Image of the Great Cherry Blossom Buddha at Tsubosakadera Temple, Nara Prefecture
Photo:The Great Cherry Blossom Buddha at Tsubosakadera Temple, Nara Prefecture

Tsubosakadera Temple is one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan, and is known for its giant Buddha statue surrounded by cherry blossoms. Among the large stone Buddha statues, the most eye-catching is the Tsubosaka Daibutsu (Great Buddha of Tsubosakadera), located in the center of the temple. The statue stands a staggering 10 meters (~33 feet) tall atop a 5-meter-tall platform. During the cherry blossom season, many people come to visit the temple and take Instagram photos with the cherry blossoms and the Buddha.
[Video] 1:36 - The Great Buddha Surrounded by Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms at Tsubosaka-ji usually bloom from late March to early April; in 2024, the expected bloom date in Nara Prefecture is around March 25 and the expected full bloom date is April 1, a little earlier than usual.

According to the SNS of Tsubosaka-ji Temple, in 2023, the trees were almost in full bloom on March 25. Please check back around that time before heading out.

Light-up viewing is scheduled from March 23 to April 3, 2024 (tentative), so you can enjoy the pagodas and the Great Buddha on the temple grounds, as well as the illuminated cherry blossoms.
[Video] 3:35 - Tsubosakadera Temple Illuminated at Night

Tourist Attractions Near Tsubosakadera Temple

Image of Nara Park, Nara Prefecture
Photo:Nara Park, Nara Prefecture

There are various tourist attractions and sightseeing spots near Tsubosakadera Temple. You can also visit places where you can learn about Japanese history, such as the ruins of Takatori Castle, which is designated as a National Historic site, and the Kitora Tomb (Kitora Burial Mound).

For lunch, we recommend Hana Yamato (花大和), a tea house serving Yakuzen cuisine (medicinal, herbal cuisine based on traditional Chinese medicine), or Oku Asuka Sarara (奥明日香さらら), where you can enjoy local cuisine from Nara. Between sightseeing, you can also take a break at Nokonoko Café (のこのこカフェ).

If you're looking to visit major tourist attractions in Nara Prefecture, such as Mt. Yoshino and Nara Park, from Tsubosakadera Temple, we recommend staying overnight and taking your time to enjoy Nara.

Summary of the Great Cherry Blossom Buddha at Tsubosakadera Temple

Did you enjoy the beautiful views of cherry blossoms at and the Great Buddha at Tsubosakadera Temple in spring?

Known for its Great Cherry Blossom Buddha, Tsubosakadera Temple in Nara Prefecture attracts many tourists from all over Japan for hanami (cherry blossom viewing), as well as those who visit the temple on their pilgrimage to the 33 sacred sites in the western part of Japan. You can also pick up original souvenirs at the temple that you won't find anywhere else, such as the shuin stamp book embroidered with the Great Buddha and cherry blossoms.

Tsubosakadera Temple is easily accessible from Nara City, and outside of special monthly events, requires no reservations, making it a great place to visit during any trip to Nara. If you're looking for things to do in Nara, be sure to check it out!

◆Tsubosakadera Temple◆
【Address】3 Tsubosaka, Takatori-cho, Takaichi-gun, Nara 635-0102, Japan
By Car: Drive southeast from the Katsuragi IC on Minami Hanna Road (approx. 30 min. by car)
By train: From Kintetsu Osaka Abenobashi, get off at Tsubosaka-yama bound for Yoshino (about 40 minutes via express train), then take a bus or cab.
【Hours】8:30 a.m. - 3:00 pm
【Admission Fee】Adults (18 years and older) 600 yen, children 100 yen, young children (5 years and younger) free of charge (as of 2/2/2023).
300 yen for the disabled upon presentation of a disability certificate.
(Please check the official website for details.)

【TripAdvisor】Tsubosakadera Temple

Written By
Last Updated : Mar. 26, 2023
岡本 修(Shu Okamoto)
A writer fascinated by Japanese architecture. I'll introduce you to buildings and food in Japan!
The Great Cherry Blossom Buddha at Tsubosakadera! Beautiful Drone Footage of the Cherry Blossoms the Famous Temple in Nara!
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