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Kosanji Temple & Kosanji Museum: Video Introduction

Image of the main hall of Kosanji Temple in Onomichi, Hiroshima
Photo:The main hall of Kosanji Temple in Onomichi, Hiroshima

This video, titled "Kosanji Temple & Museum and the Hill of Hope, Setoda, Hiroshima" (耕三寺博物館と未来心の丘、広島県三原市瀬戸田町), was uploaded by "K Nishiyama."

Kosanji Temple is located on Ikuchi Island, one of the islands in the Seto Inland Sea in Onomichi, Hiroshima. The temple was built in homage to the Pure Land Buddhism temples of the Nara and Heian periods, and it has a vivid and majestic appearance.

The "Hill of Hope," a pure white garden created with marble sculptures, is located in the precincts of the temple. Because of its overwhelming beauty, it has become a new attraction for tourism in Onomichi as an #instaworthy spot.

Check out Kosanji Museum, where you can experience Japanese culture, and the Hill of Hope, a new tourist attraction in Onomichi, in the video!

The History of Kosanji Temple & Facts About Kosanji Museum

Image of Kosanji Temple, Onomichi, Hiroshima
Photo:Kosanji Temple, Onomichi, Hiroshima

Kosanji Temple, located in Onomichi, Hiroshima, was originally built by Kozo Kanemoto, a businessman from Fukuoka Prefecture, to mourn the loss of his mother. The temple belongs to the Honganji School of Shinshu Jodo Buddhism and is also known as "Haha no Tera" (母の寺, lit. "Mother's Temple").

The temple is called the "Nikko of the West" (a reference to the beautiful Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Tochigi prefecture) for its beautiful color and design, and pagodas modeled after ancient buildings. In 2003, 15 of its buildings were designated as Tangible Cultural Properties of Japan.

Kosanji Museum exhibits many Important Cultural Properties and nationally designated Important Works of Art. This collection was originally assembled to furnish Chouseikaku Villa, which was built as both a villa and as the resting place for Kozo Kosanji's mother, and later for the temple and the opening of the museum.

Immediately after the end of WWII, the museum began displaying and exhibiting the collected works of art, and in 1953, it was reestablished as a nationally registered museum, which it remains to this day. The majority of the collection consists of Buddhist art, tea ceremony art, and modern art, including a famous statue Amida Nyorai (Amitabha) with a crown of gold, which was by constructed by Kaikei, a Buddhist priest of the Kamakura period (1185-1333).

What is the Hill of Hope?

Image of the white marble garden at the Hill of Hope in Onomichi, Hiroshima
Photo:The white marble garden at the Hill of Hope in Onomichi, Hiroshima

The Hill of Hope, located on the grounds of Kosanji, is a 5,000 square meter white marble garden. Its pure white beauty is reminiscent of the Greek island of Santorini.

The marble used in the garden was mined from Carrara, Italy, where the world-renowned sculptor, Itto Kuetani, has his studio.

Monuments of various shapes and sizes are placed on the hill, and paths and plazas have been created. Mr. Kuetani created these monuments harmony with the surrounding scenery and nature. He hopes that visitors will enjoy the marble garden as a part of nature, and that they will let their imaginations run wild.

Kosanji Temple's Hill of Hope, a unique tourist attraction in Onomichi, is now one of the most popular Instagram spots on the Shimanami Kaido. Particularly popular is "Koumei no To" (Tower of Light), which is placed at the highest point of the Hill of Hope, as if to join hands with the setting sun. In front of the white tower, visitors can take pictures against the sky above the Seto Inland Sea, making it a popular spot for couples and tourists in general.

Another instaworthy feature is "Kaze no Shiki" (風の四季, Winds of the Four Seasons); four marble screens representing the winds of the four seasons. They're great for taking pictures.

Kosanji Museum and the Hill of Hope: Admission Fees, Average Time Spent Here, Etc.

Image of Nakamon Gate at Kosanji Museum in Onomichi, Hiroshima
Photo:Nakamon Gate at Kosanji Museum in Onomichi, Hiroshima

By entering Kosanji Museum, visitors can also visit the Hill of Hope. Admission is 1,400 yen for adults, 1,000 yen for university and high school students, and free for elementary and junior high school students. A 200 yen discount is available for groups of 20 or more people.
Kosanji Temple also offers a "filial piety discount," which provides a 200 yen discount for parents who enter the museum with their children.

The average time spent at Kosanji Museum is 1-2 hours. Please take your time and enjoy viewing the temple complex, which is a collection of the beauty of Japanese culture, as well as the works of art throughout the museum.

The Hill of Hope is a vast site to explore as well. The estimated time required for this tour is 2 hours, but you may lose track of time as you take pictures and enjoy the spectacular views of the monuments and nature.

If you wish to enjoy both the Kosanji Temple Museum and the Hill of Hope, you should expect to spend approximately 5 hours here.

Cycling in Onomichi and the Shimanami Kaido

Image of a woman cycling on the Shimanami Kaido
Photo:A woman cycling on the Shimanami Kaido

While Kosanji Temple, Kosanji Museum, and the Hill of Hope can all be accessed via public transportation or personal vehicles, one of the things Onomichi is known for is the Shimanami Kaido, a popular cycling route that takes cyclists from Onomichi in Hiroshima to Imabari in Ehime, across the Seto Inland Sea.

The Shimanami Kaido is dotted with popular tourist attractions and things to do along the way, has great scenery, and is a great way to explore the area. The cycling course will take advanced cyclists 3-5 hours to complete, and beginners should expect the course to take 8-10 hours to complete while stopping at tourist attractions and taking in the scenery along the way.

There are bicycle rental terminals with which visitors can rent a bicycle in Onomichi and drop off the bike in Imabari (or vise-versa) after they finish the course, so there's no need to worry about hauling the bike back to where you rented it, or having to bring your own bike.

If you're interested in getting some exercise and enjoying the breeze, this is a great course to consider when visiting the Onomichi area.

How to Get To Kosanji Museum and the Hill of Hope: Access by Train and Car

Image of Ikuchi Island and Tatara Bridge (Shimanami Kaido)
Photo:Ikuchi Island and Tatara Bridge (Shimanami Kaido)

There are many ways to get to Kosanji Museum and the Hill of Hope, including by boat, train, bus, and car. Since the museum is located on Ikuchi Island on the Shimanami Kaido, many people stop by while visiting other tourist attractions in the area.

With that out of the way, here, we'll introduce how to get to Kosanji Museum and the Hill of Hope from Hiroshima Station and Onomichi Station.

●From Onomichi Station
[Public Transportation]
・Board the "Onomichi-Setoda Cruise" and get off at Ikuchijima/Setoda Port and walk to the museum.
・Take the Onomichi Bus and get off at the Kosanji (耕三寺) bus stop.

[By Car]
・Take the Nishi-Seto Expressway, exit at the Ikuchijima Kita IC, and drive to the facility via Prefectural Route 81.

●From Hiroshima Station
[Public Transportation]
・From Hiroshima Station, take the JR Sanyo Main Line to Mihara Station, then go to Mihara Port, and board the Mihara-Setoda Cruise. Get off at Setoda Port and walk to the facility.

[By Car]
・From the Onomichi IC on the Sanyo Expressway, drive to the facility via the Nishi-Seto Onomichi IC.

There are two free parking lots at Kosanji Museum and three toll parking lots in the vicinity. However, they are often full during busy times, so it may be best to use public transportation when visiting the museum.

Summary of Kosanji Museum's Hill of Hope

Image of the white marble garden at the Hill of Hope in Onomichi, Hiroshima
Photo:The white marble garden at the Hill of Hope in Onomichi, Hiroshima

Kosanji Temple is a wonderful tourist attraction to visit during spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, and in the fall, when the autumn leaves change color. The collaboration of ancient Japanese architecture and the artistic marble sculptures makes this a great date spot for couples and art enthusiasts.

The Hill of Hope also has a marble restaurant, Café Cuore, where you can enjoy lunch. For those looking to enjoy a spectacular view as well as Buddhist art, tea ceremony art, and modern art, consider visiting Kosanji Museum and the Hill of Hope.

◆Kosanji Museum◆
【Address】553, Setoda-cho, Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture
【Hours】9:00 am - 5:00 pm
【Closed】Open all year round
【Admission】Adults: 1,400 yen, College and high school students: 1,000 yen, Junior high school students and younger: free

【Official Website】Setoda Kosanji Museum

【TripAdvisor】Kosanji Museum

Written By
Last Updated : Aug. 14, 2023
平敷 篤(Atsushi Heishiki)
My name is Atsushi Heishiki, a writer who loves Japanese culture and lives in Okinawa.
Kosanji Temple, Kosanji Museum, and the Hill of Hope! A Collaboration of the Solemn Culture of Japan and a Garden of Pure White Marble in Hiroshima, Japan
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