Nagoya-City Osu Kannon Temple and Bansho-ji
One of Nagoya City’s leading landmarks, Osu Kannon Temple was originally built in nearby Hashima-City in 1333 and was moved to its present site in 1612 on the orders of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu during the construction of Nagoya Castle. Now surrounded by tall buildings and rows of shopping arcades, the Osu Kannon Temple remains a connection to Nagoya’s illustrious past, being one of the famed 33 Kannon Temples of Owari (Owari being the old name of western Aichi Prefecture).
Destroyed in the wartime bombings of Nagoya, the current building was reconstructed in 1970, and the bright red pillars and beams makes it one of the more exciting and photogenic temples in the area. Dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, Kannon, this holy place has, enshrined in the main prayer hall, a wooden statue of its namesake deity said to have been carved by none other than the Buddhist saint, Kobo Daishi (774-835) himself. The temple also contains a library of over 15,000 ancient Japanese and Chinese books and texts, many of them designated National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties. The oldest extant hand-written edition of the Kojiki, the Annuals of Mythological Japan, is also maintained here.