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Hozenji Temple and Hozenji Yokocho

Hozenji Temple and Hozenji Yokocho

Hozenji Temple and Hozenji Yokocho

In a small street between Dotonbori and Namba there is a small but quaint temple called the Hozenji Temple. It is interesting to see that there is a temple between the vibrant Dotonbori and the crowded shopping area of Namba. When you enter the temple grounds there is a sudden change in the atmosphere. In the evening, the lanterns on the temple grounds light up and it makes it have a much more special and magical atmosphere. But during the day, the atmosphere of the Hozenji Temple is just as peaceful and magical.

Hozenji Temple and Hozenji Yokocho

(source: https://en.japantravel.com/osaka/the-historical-hozenji-temple/28850)

In 1637, the Hozenji Temple was established and the grounds originally covered a much larger area than it does today. When it was first established, there were stalls and teahouses that were set up which used to sell foods and other refreshments to those who were visiting the temple. Many pilgrims used to visit this temple as well and with the growing amount of visitors it became a popular area where people came for entertainment and food.

Hozenji Temple and Hozenji Yokocho

(source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/miguelmichan/5000917986)

Unfortunately, during a bomb raid in World War II the temple and the whole temple grounds were destroyed. There was one temple statue that survived the bombing raid and is now an important symbol in this district. The statue that survived is a Buddhist spirit called the Fudo Myo-o which is a representation of discipline and firm moral character.

The Fudo spirit is known from having a fierce and angry face but the Fudo spirit statue at the Hozenji Temple appears to have a much more gentler face because it is completely covered in lush green moss.

At the Hozenji temple, people come here and pray by first throwing water over the statue. This first started about 80 years ago when a lady threw water over the statue and made a wish that came true. Ever since people have been doing the same thing when they visit this temple. And it is said that because water is thrown over the statue over time it became covered in moss and was nicknamed as the Mizukake Fudo which means Pouring water over Fudo. So when you visit this tempe make sure to poor water over the statue and then make a wish.

(source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323469804578523552850584648)

On the North side of the Hozenji Temple, there is a small street called Hozenji Yokocho that has a very cool atmosphere. At night this street becomes alive with all the lights and with all the different bars, cages and other eateries. It is very lively with friends, family, couples and tourists drinking and enjoying a meal. The buildings on this street are very old fashioned and there are Japanese lanterns hanging so it makes you feel as though you have traveled back in time. The restaurants in this area have really delicious local cuisines, some of the best in Osaka.

There are Okonomiyaki restaurants, Kushiyaki, Katsudon, and teppanyaki grills. The restaurants here are extremely delicious so there is usually a line to get inside and is extremely crowded especially at night and on the weekends. There are a lot of different places to eat on this street so it can be a bit overwhelming but honestly all of the food here is really good so just pick one that looks good to you.

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