Surrounded by sacred mountains and sitting between two calm, pristine rivers, Mizumadera Temple’s name literally means “between the waters”. Precisely speaking, it is located at the junction of the Sobura(Kogi) and Kibitani rivers. It is said to have been founded by a monk at the request of Emperor Shomu in the Tenpyo era (729-749), after he dreamed of the Bodhisattva Kannon—the Goddess of Mercy—appearing somewhere in southwestern Nara. In Japan’s medieval age, the temple was a center of worship primarily for the nobility and the samurai class. Later in the Edo period (1603-1868), the Okabe family, rulers of the Kishiwada domain, gave the patronage to this temple.
The spacious grounds at Mizumadera Temple are divided into the two areas by the river. In the main area, there are some structures such as a magnificent temple, a statue of Kannon, a three-storied pagoda (the only existing structure in Osaka Prefecture) including a temple “Aizendo” called “Lovers Sanctuary” Here, you can say a prayer to Aizen-Myoo (the Japanese name for Ragataja, a Buddhist Wisdom King considered the God of Love) to ask for fortune in love, protection of a good relationship, a happy marriage, and family happiness and or household harmony. On the other side of the river, you’ll can find Mizuma Park, a hilly area with several temples, statues of Kannon, a temple bell and another Lovers’ Sanctuary. Take in the charming sight of the vivid red bridge across the pond—called Aizen-Bashi or “Lovers’ Bridge”—with cherry blossom trees about, said to further strengthen the power of love.
Taking in the beautiful, serene sights, you may find yourself wondering why Mizumadera Temple became a sacred site for lovers. As the legend, one summer day 700 years ago, a samurai named Seijuro came to the Mizuma area, where he met a local girl named Onatsu. Despite the vast difference in their social statuses, they fell in love. After Seijuro was forced to go back to his home in Kyoto, Onatsu prayed to Aizen-Myoo every night, that she might be reunited with her love. One day, she found out that Seijuro was being hunted by the enemy, she went to the battlefield to look for him with no hesitaion. They found each other and returned to Mizuma together, and they lived there happily ever after.
The temple grounds have no established hours and are opened year-round.
The main temple is opened to visitors from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Admission: Free to enter the facilities.
Address: 638, Mizuma, Kaizuka City, Osaka Prefecture
Airport: Kansai International Airport