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Head Temple, Hasedera

Japan’s prominent holy place with Kannon statue, adorned with seasonal flowers. Revered as the temple of flowers since ancient times.

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Nestled in the mountains, this is one of the most prominent holy places in Japan housing the Kannon statue. It used to stand at the midpoint of the Hase Road which ran from Yamato Province to Ise Province. It appears in ancient poetries called Komoriku no Hatsuse and in Manyoshu.

It is said to have been started in 686, when Reverend Domyo set up Doban Hokke Sessozu, a bronze plaque depicting a scene from the Lotus Sutra on the west hill for Emperor Tenmu. Later in 727, Reverend Tokudo was ordered by Emperor Shomu to make the Eleven-faced Kannon Bodhisattva statue. Since then, it has become the Mecca for believers in Kannon.

After climbing 399 steps of the stairway, you will see the main hall, which is designated as a national treasure. The irimoya style building with a tiled roof stands at the edge of a cliff. The stage structure in front provides a breathtaking view. The main hall houses the almost 12m-tall Eleven-faced Kannon Bodhisattva statue, the largest in Japan.

Known as the temple of flowers since ancient times, it offers lovely flowers in four seasons - cherry and plum blossoms, hydrangea, water lilies, osmanthus, and the most famous peony.

They have been known since more than 1000 years ago as Hase’s Peony or Peony Hase Temple. It is the most famous spot for peonies in Japan. Each year between late April and early May, Peony Festival is held where you can adore about 7000 plants of 150 varieties.


  • Mecca for Kannon worshippers.
  • Surrounded by nature, the main hall’s stage offers a breathtaking view.
  • The stairway to the main hall with 399 steps is a great spectacle.
  • The almost 12m Eleven-faced Kannon Bodhisattva statue is the tallest in Japan.
  • Fascinating flowers in four seasons. Between late April and early May, famous peonies are in full bloom.


  • The main hall (a national treasure) surrounded by nature

    The main hall (a national treasure) surrounded by nature

  • The stairway with 399 steps

    The stairway with 399 steps

  • The main hall’s stage offers a breathtaking view

    The main hall’s stage offers a breathtaking view

  • Peonies bloom along the stairway

    Peonies bloom along the stairway

  • Enchanting fall foliage

    Enchanting fall foliage


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Name in Japanese
総本山 長谷寺
Postal Code
731-1 Hase, Sakurai City, Nara
Open every day
April-September: 8:30am-5:00pm, October-November / March: 9:00am-5:00pm, December-February: 9:00am-4:30pm
Entry: Middle school student and older 500 yen, Elementary children 250 yen
*Special viewing season offers the combo ticket (Entry + viewing halls)
From Kintetsu Osaka Line, Hasedera Station, walk 15 min.
Credit Cards
Not accepted
Official Website
Official Website (English)