Ninna-ji Temple

Politics for you, Prayer for me. Government and Religion running side by side, for the nation.

Tour Start

Politics for you, Prayer for me. Government and Religion running side by side, for the nation.

“What country are you from?”
In this day and age where foreign visitors are common place in Japan, this is an inevitable question you are bound to come across. The answers could be anywhere from America, or England, China, or maybe even remote countries you have never even heard of. All of these places, however, hold one thing in common. They each have cultures and histories of their own which have developed over time.

Though the particulars surrounding the creation of these countries vary, most likely, the creation of a country usually necessitates the creation of a throne, a ruler of said kingdom.

From Alexander to Qin Shi Huang to King David, these figures are some of the many kings that are recorded in history books all over the world, but in Japan’s case, the one who has ruled Japan is the Emperor. Since the enthronement of Emperor Jimmu, the first emperor of Japan, the royal line has performed the royal duties for over 125 generations spanning the course of over 2600 years.

For a singular line of nobility within a country to span this long is actually a rare occurrence. Though some claim otherwise, it is said that the line of the Japanese Emperor is the longest lasting line of nobility in the world.

So, how does this all connect back to Ninna-ji temple? Would it surprise you to hear that this temple has a long and deep connection with the emperor and the imperial family?

Ninna-ji is the first temple where former emperors could reside as aristocratic priests. Since Ninna-ji Temple’s founding, it has been taken care of by these aristocratic priests. This made Ninna-ji the original “Monzeki Ji-in” or a temple which specifically houses a member or former member of the royal family.

You will find many ties to the imperial family in the structure and statues within Ninna-ji temple. This guide explores the rich history of the Heian legacy of the emperor and dives headfirst into the appeal of this highly esteemed temple.

Index List

Select language