Kakuo-zan Nittai-ji Temple

Kakuo-zan Nittai-ji Temple © S.Kasugai

About Nittai-ji Temple

Kakuo-zan Nittai-ji Temple is located in Nagoya’s Chikusa Ward. It is the only Buddhist temple in all of Japan that is not associated with a particular sect of Japanese Buddhism; all 19 seats in Japan use a rotation system by which high priests from the various sects serve at the temple every 3 years.
The temple was founded in 1904 in order to enshrine and preserve a stupa given as a gift from Thailand. (This stupa contains the true thumb bone of the Buddha Sakyamuni.)
The tower enshrining the stupa is made of stone and is an unusual building that combines elements of both Indian and Buddhist architecture.
Nittai-ji Temple is meant to symbolize good relations between the two countries and there is an image of the stupa’s donator Rama V on the shrine grounds, as well as a chamber where you can see the legacy of the Thai kings. Every October 23 on the anniversary of its construction it has become a tradition for the Thailand ambassador to make a visit to Japan and see the temple.

The very name "Nittai-ji" essentially means "Temple of Japan and Thailand". The shrine grounds cover a large expanse of 100,000 square meters, and the shrine is a popular spot for visitors during the cherry blossom season, azalea season, and for nighttime moon gazing. At the time of the temple’s construction, the country of Thailand was still known as "Siam" and so it was formerly known as Nissen-ji Temple. In 1932 Siam transitioned to Thailand and the temple’s name was changed accordingly in the year 1941.

 The unique shops at Kakuo-zan

In the Kakuo-zan region which spreads around Nittai-ji temple there is a fair on the 21st of every month where traders come and sell items on the 600m shrine approach road. They sell everyday goods, fresh food, take-out food, and a variety of other items. There are over 100 stores in total, and among these shops you will find old fashioned mitarashi and teishoku, ethnic food shops, tea shops, Chinese tea specialist shops, Sumiya, stylish general stores, galleries, and so much more at this massive shopping fair. As an aside, the Kakuo-zan area draws its name from one of the other names of the Buddha, "Kakuo".


To get to the Kakuo-zan Shopping Street, on the Subway Higashiyama Line go to Kakuo-zan Station and from there it is a 5 minute walk away. There is free parking nearby, but if you’re coming to visit the shrine public transportation is more convenient.

Image Gallery: Kakuo-zan Nittai-ji Temple

Description: Kakuo-zan Nittai-ji Temple

Sights Kakuo-zan Nittai-ji Temple (日泰寺 )
Address 1 Chome-1 Hoocho, Chikusa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 464-0057
Phone / Fax Phone: 052-751-2121
Duration 1Hour(s)
Business Hours Monday:05:00-16:30
Closed dates 7 days open
Admission Fee Free admission
Recommended Season
Spring (March - May)
Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
Recommended target Family Couples Groups Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller

Map: Kakuo-zan Nittai-ji Temple