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It is a beautiful sunny day in the autumn and you want to find somewhere new to explore besides the busy downtown area of Osaka. You are not afraid of train transfer in Japan or getting drunk on the bus then Katsuoji Temple is not a bad idea. It is a stunning temple located in a mountain of Minoh, Osaka, about 30km from Namba.It is said that nowhere in Osaka can you find a temple with uncountable "Daruma" Dolls (a symbol of luck and victory) like this temple. Known as "The Temple of Good Luck" or the "Temple of Daruma," it is one of the most historic temples in Kansai, built in 727 AD, where worshipers from all over the country pray for good luck.
No matter how many times you roll Daruma or turn it upside down, Daruma will always stand up. Japanese people believe that Daruma is the symbol of winning yourself whenever you are facing troubles or problems in your life. That is why the temple has been visited by many worshipers throughout the year to enhance “luck” in various situations in life, such as exams, sports, business, sickness, and elections. There are small Daruma everywhere in the temple garden and you can easily get one with 500 yen and bring back home to commemorate. There is also a pond on the right side when you walk through the main gate. You can see a lot of colourful Koi Fish playing in the pond.
The best season to visit Katsuoji is autumn because the temple will be covered by the stunning red and yellow colour of autumn leaves. On the way to the main hall, the maple blends beautifully with the beautiful garden, as if it were a single painting. From the area around the main hall climb the stairs and you can have a panorama view of Osaka and look down at the autumn leaves with many daruma. However, it is not the only autumn that you can enjoy Katsuoji, but there are also many kinds of flower trees planted around the temple so in different seasons there will have different blossoms that you can still enjoy the beautiful landscape. In the weekends of peak season autumn, there is illumination event so if you come here on Saturday or Sunday, it may be overcrowded. Traffic jams probably occurred for more than 2 hours. It might sound weird but the fastest way to get to Katsuoji in such a condition is by walking from the bus station. It took us 1 hour (~5km) to walk from there to Katsuoji, even faster than going by car. It is walking uphill so maybe it will make you tired a bit but it is still a good health training.
Normally, the last bus is at 16.48 but for peak season, there are buses until 7pm. which take you to Senri Chuo Station. There will definitely a long queuing so prepare your schedule beforehand in order not to miss the bus.
Before returning, you can stop by the souvenir shop. You will enter and exit within the precincts including the shop, so you will not miss it. In the shop, you can buy various souvenirs such as daruma goods and sweets.
Here is some basic information about Katsuoji Temple:
►2914-1 Aomatani, Minoo, Osaka 562-0021, Japan
►Weekdays / 8: 00-17: 00
►Saturdays / 8: 00-17: 30
►Sundays / Holidays / 8: 00 18:00
►Adult / 400 yen
►Elementary / junior high school student / 300 yen