• Tanzan Shrine's photo

Tanzan Shrine

Sakurai City

A vermillion lacquered shrine that appears from between the mountains.

A 30 minute train to the southern part of Nara City is where you’ll find Sakurai, a historical town that has been mentioned numerous times in the Man’yoshu, an ancient book of classical Japanese poems. The Tonomine Highlands surrounding the town is where you will find the Tanzan Shrine. Established in the year 678, it became known as the “Mountain of Conversation” after important political talks prior to what is known as the Taika Reform were carried out there. The vermillion lacquered shrine peeks out from between green mountains, and its beauty is such that it is called the “Nikko of Kansai”.

  • Tanzan Shrine's photo
  • Tanzan Shrine's photo

The world’s only existing solemn 13-storied pagoda.

After passing through the gates to the shrine and ascending the long staircase, the small but beautiful shrine grounds spread out before you, with the 13-storied pagoda dominating a corner. Fujiwara No Kamatari, the central figure in the Taika Reform is enshrined there. The current buildings were rebuilt in 1532 after they were burned down in 1173, and the current 13-storied pagoda is the only existing one in the world. This shrine is popular for bringing romance to couples. There is also the Stone Seat of Bonding that brings fortune to those who touch it, and the Koi Shrine that deifies Kagamino Okimi.

  • Tanzan Shrine's photo

Foliage spot that burns with the autumn colors of 3,000 trees.

If you’re going to visit Tanzan Shrine, be sure to come see the amazing autumn foliage. Over 3,000 maples grow on the grounds of the shrine, and burn in brilliant reds during the fall. Every year on November 3 the Kemari Festival is held, which is connected with the Taika Reform, where men dressed in the ancient garb of the Asuka period play an ancient game of Kemari, which is akin to soccer. Nature enshrouded Tanzan Shrine is also famous for its spring cherry blossoms and summer greenery.

  • Tanzan Shrine's photo

For reference

  • Address
    319 Tonomine, Sakurai-shi, Nara-ken
  • Telephone
  • Open
    8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
  • Price
    500 yen entrance fee
  • Recommended season
    Spring to autumn


Kansai International Airport is a 1 hour, 45 minute flight from New Chitose Airport.
Kansai International Airport is a 1 hour flight from Haneda Airport.
Kansai International Airport is a 1 hour, 20 minute flight from Narita Airport.
Kansai International Airport is a 1 hour, 15 minute flight from Fukuoka Airport.
Kansai International Airport is a 2 hour, 20 minute flight from Naha Airport.
Take the shuttle bus from Kansai International Airport to JR Nara Station (approx.1 hr. 35 min).
  • Or go from Kansai International Airport Station via JR Tennoji Station to JR Nara Station (1 hr. 20 min.).
It is 30 minutes from JR Nara Station to JR Sakurai Station.
From Sakurai Station take the bus to Tanzan Shrine (25 min.).
The shrine is a 3 minute walk from the bus stop.


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