The Kachi Daruma Dolls of Katsuoji Temple! Discover the Popular Dolls at the Temple in Minoh, Osaka!
Art & Architecture
Katsuoji Temple, Minoh, Osaka: Video Introduction
Photo：Hydrangeas at Katsuoji Temple, Minoh, Osaka
This video, titled "Katsuoji Temple, a beautiful temple of Kachi Daruma in Minoh, Osaka, Japan" (勝ちダルマの勝尾寺｜大阪箕面市の美しいお寺 - Katsuo-ji Temple（Osaka、 Japan）), was uploaded by "BURARI JAPAN."
This 5-minute video shows Okiyome Bridge which leads to the temple gate of Katsuoji Temple, along with fog, the beautiful contrast of green trees and red-colored architecture on the temple grounds, and the many Daruma dolls placed throughout the temple. Be sure to check out the video, which was shot during hydrangea season on the temple grounds, to see the temple in Osaka, Japan known for luck in victory.
Katsuoji Temple – The History & Name of the Temple and Its Unique Kachi Daruma Dolls
Photo：Spring at Katsuoji Temple, Minoh, Osaka
Katsuoji Temple, which is known for its kachi daruma ('kachi' meaning victory, and 'daruma' being dolls modeled after Bodhidharma that are symbols of good luck), dates back to the Nara Period (710-794 A.D.) in Japan. The temple was founded in 775 under the name Mirokuji Temple. The sixth head priest, Gyojun, used the power of Buddhism to cure Emperor Seiwa, who was ill, through prayer. For this reason, the temple was given the name "Katsuoji Temple" (勝王寺) meaning "the temple that defeated the king" (勝: Win, 王: King, 寺: Temple) (referring to the temple having better healers than the imperial palace).
However, out of a sense of humility, Gyojun changed the "王" (King) to "尾" (Tail) and called the temple "Katsuoji Temple" without changing the pronunciation. However, despite this, the temple still gradually came to be known for blessings of luck in victory.
The "Katsu" (勝: Win) in "Katsuoji" has the meaning of "facing oneself" and "defeating oneself," which is consistent with Bodhidharma's idea of zazen Buddhism. Therefore, it is said that the temple adopted the kachi daruma, a daruma doll with the character "勝" (kachi 'victory') on its belly.
Many people visit Katsuoji Temple to pray for success in entrance examinations, employment, and prosperous business.
The Meaning of Daruma, How Much they Cost, and How to Use Them
Photo：Daruma dolls at Katsuoji Temple, Minoh, Osaka
Kachi daruma have the meaning of "victory over oneself" and "to fall down 7 times, but get back up 8." It represents a pledge to fulfill the wish written on the daruma doll within one year from the date the wish is written on it.
Kachi daruma dolls range in price from 2,000 to 200,000 yen ($15-$150). After receiving the daruma and writing your goal(s) for the year on the back and your life goals on the bottom, light incense sticks filled with your thoughts and let the smoke seep into the daruma.
Make a vow to make every effort to achieve your goals, and draw an eye in the daruma doll's right eye. After taking it home, place it in a place where you can see it. Then, either when you achieve your goal or one year later, dedicate it to Katsuoji Temple. If you are successful, draw in the left eye, and if not, leave it blank and go to the main hall to report your progress and express your gratitude.
[Video] 2:02 - Dedicating a Daruma
Katsuoji Temple – Beautiful Autumn Leaves and Nighttime Illuminations
Photo：Benten Hall and autumn leaves at the pond, Katsuoji Temple, Minoh, Osaka
Every year in early November, visitors can enjoy the autumn leaves at Katsuoji Temple. The temple grounds, which extend from the temple gate, beautiful shades of red and yellow, and are enhanced by the greenery of the surrounding mountains. The temple is also illuminated at night, and the views looking up at the pagoda are simply breathtaking.
Other spots to check out at Katsuoji Temple are as follows:
●Sanmon Gate - Okiyome Bridge - Benten Hall - The Two-Story Pagoda
From Okiyome Bridge, after passing through the temple gate, you'll find the two-story pagoda and Benten Hall. The autumn leaves and buildings reflected on the surface of the water together with the mist around Okiyome Bridge create a magical atmosphere.
[Video] 0:05 - Sanmon Gate, Okiyome Bridge, and Benten Hall
●The Approach to the Main Hall and Nikaido (the fifth sacred site of Honen, the founder of Pure Land Buddhism)
The approach to the main hall and Nikaido is like a tunnel of autumn leaves. It's a special space that can be seen only during a limited period of time.
[Video] 2:56 - The Main Hall of Katsuoji Temple
●The View From Nikaido
Nikaido is located on a hill and offers a panoramic view of the entire temple grounds. The view from Nikaido is different from looking up at the autumn leaves, and is unique to Katsuoji Temple.
How to Get to Katsuoji Temple
Photo：Near Osaka Station
Here is how you can get to Katsuoji Temple from various locations in Osaka.
Katsuoji Temple From Osaka Station: 40-50 mins
Take the subway from JR Osaka Station to Senri-Chuo Station (~20 mins), and from there, take a bus (~30 mins) or taxi (~20 mins) to Katsuoji Temple.
Alternatively, you can the train from Osaka Station to Ishibashi Handai-mae Station (~16 mins), then take a train to Minoo Station (~6 mins), and from Mino Station take a bus (~30 mins) or taxi (~20 mins) to Katsuoji Temple.
Katsuoji Temple From Osaka International Airport: 30-60 mins
To get to Katsuoji Temple from Osaka International Airport, take the monorail (~3mins) or bus (~20 mins) to Hotarugaike Station, and from there take the monorail, take the monorail to Senri-Chuo Station (~9 mins). From there take a bus (~33 mins) or taxi (~20 mins) to Katsuoji Temple.
Other Things to Do Near Katsuoji Temple
Photo：Autumn colors at Minoh Falls, Minoh, Osaka
Since Katsuoji Temple is located a ways from the city, there isn't a ton of stuff to do in the immediate area. That being said, it is located somewhat close to Minoh Falls.
Minoh Park has two entrances: one on the back side of the park, and the other close to the city of Osaka. From either entrance, it's an approximately 45-minute walk to the waterfall, meaning you can either hike to Minoh Falls from the city and then hike to Katsuoji Temple afterwards, or visit Katsuoji Temple first, hike to Minoh Falls, and then hike back to the entrance near Minoo Station.
Minoh Park is especially beautiful during autumn when the leaves have changed color, so if you're visiting during this time, we highly recommend checking it out.
Hours: Open 24 hours
Admission Fee: Free
Summary of Katsuoji Temple and Its Kachi Daruma Dolls
Photo：Daruma dolls at Katsuoji Temple, Minoh, Osaka
Did you watch the video of Minoh, Osaka's Katsuoji Temple? The temple is full of things to see and do, from its rich natural scenery and quaint atmosphere to the overflowing daruma dolls on the kachi daruma dedication racks.
Katsuoji Temple also sells daruma dolls with omikuji (fortunes) inside, so be sure to purchase one and display it on a shelf at home!
During the special nighttime illumination period in the fall, when the autumn leaves are in season, the temple is visited by people from all over Japan, and the approach to the main hall and the Nikaido Hall attracts many visitors every year to see the tunnel of autumn leaves.
Although there is a parking lot at Katsuoji Temple, you should consider taking a taxi from Minoo Station, as it will inevitably be crowded when the autumn leaves are in season.
There's a ton of things to do at Katsuoji Temple, and it's a recommended spot where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Japan. Why not visit spring and early summer at the shrine are also great times to visit, so be sure to consider it!
【Official Website】Katsuoji Temple