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KASADERA KANNON / 笠寺観音(名古屋市)

2013.08.13 [PLACES,WHAT'S NEW]

KASADERA KANNON / 笠寺観音(名古屋市)

The Tokkaido was the ancient route along the eastern provinces of Japan stretching between
Edo, (modern day Tokyo) and the old capital, Kyoto. 53 stops along the route provided
travelers with a place to eat, refresh and stay overnight. The route was also lined with a great
number of shrines and temples.


(Tokaido, Edo Nihonbashi)




The remains of the old Tokaido run directly below and around the Temple of Kasadera, one of the
more impressive and beautiful temples along the old roadway, in Nagoya City’s Minami-Ku.
The temple was the southernmost of the “Four Guardian Temples” surrounding Nagoya Castle,
supposed to protect it from misfortune.



名古屋市南区 笠寺観音も、その一つ。荒子観音、甚目寺観音、竜泉寺観音と並び、尾張四観音と
言われており、 この4つの観音寺は、名古屋城を中心に、尾張の四方を守護するものと考えられています。



The Story of Kasadera Kannon / 笠寺観音の歴史と由来

The temple is of the Shingon sect of Buddhism and its official name is Tenrinzan Ryufukuji. The history
of the temple can be traced back to 736, when the monk Zenkoshonin carved a statue from a piece of
driftwood of the 11 faced Deity of Mercy, Kannon, which is now enshrined in the temple. The name Kasadera
comes from the story of a noblewoman who, while riding in a palanquin, saw the carved image of Kannon
exposed to the elements near the roadside. As the weather was poor, she felt sorry for the lonely looking
figure, and so she placed her woven hat, also called a kasa, on it’s head. From here sprang the name
 “Kasa Temple,” or Kasadera. The temple also adopted the UFO shaped headwear as it’s official crest.
The noblewoman’s husband later donated money to have the temple properly built and maintained.



つくり、その像を祀るための寺、天林山 小松寺(てんりんざん こまつでら)を建立したのが始まりだと





 Within Kasadera Kannon / 笠寺観音境内

The Kasadera Temple is one of the famed “Owari 33 Kannon” temples, dedicated to Kannon. Owari
was the old name for western Aichi Prefecture, and even now, some of the faithful can be seen dressed
in traditional white robes, walking poles in hand, making the pilgrimage to all 33 temples.


Entrance to Kasadera Kannon is via either the smaller West Gate, or the suggested larger, much more
impressive southern facing Niomon gate, where tortoises sun themselves on the rocks in the lotus ponds
on either side of the stone bridge. The ancient gate features castle-like “shachi” ornaments adorning
the rooftop. Each side of the gate is guarded by the frightening looking, wood-carved, red painted Nio gods
often seen at the larger Buddhist Temples.





The main Honden Prayer hall in the center is of simple design, but it’s large size makes up for it’s simplicity.
 The temple itself is an important historical and religious site, and houses a number of nationally designated Important Cultural Properties, and Cultural Properties of Aichi Prefecture. A two-storey pagoda and a large
number of subsidiary halls dedicated to various gods surround the vicinity, and are popular with








 Kasadera Kannon, Miyamoto Musashi & Matsuo Basho

Within the grounds are two stone memorials featuring haiku poems written by the Haiku Master
Matsuo Basho who is believed to have stopped a number of times at Kasadera while traversing
the Tokkaido.


There’s also a monument to the master-swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi, who stayed nearby for a
number of years and established a dojo training hall at Kasadera for the teaching of his Enmei Ryu,
a two-sword fighting technique to the samurai of the area. The training hall Musashi founded lasted
until the Meiji period, and his sword fighting technique is still practiced in the city.


(Monument to Miyamoto Musashi  宮本武蔵の碑)





Modern Day Kasadera Kannon / 今もにぎわう、笠寺観音 

On the 18th day of every month, the temple hosts an antiques fair with old kimono, furniture, books,
scrolls, and all manner of bric-a-brac to look through. On February third each year, the temple hosts
one of Nagoya City’s largest Setsubun Festivals, a ritual to drive away the evil of the past year and
welcome in luck and good fortune through the throwing of dried beans.

There’s still a lot of history to be seen and felt surrounding the popular Kasadera Kannon and along
the route of the old Tokkaido.  Take the time to look around and soak up the history and atmosphere
of one of Nagoya’s most respected temples. 





View Larger Map


Address:83 Kamishin-machi Kasadera Minami-ku, Nagoya


Access:3 mins walk from Meitestu Nagoya Main Line, Moto Kasadera station.
             名鉄名古屋本線「本笠寺」駅  徒歩3分


Open:8am – 4pm



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