Travel and Adventure

Tennei-ji Temple

A Zen temple with a postcard-perfect pagoda overlooking Onomichi.

Tennei-ji Temple

Tennei-ji Temple is located around the middle of the Old Temples Route. Its main hall is just north of the railway tracks on a flat patch of land, but its compound extends up the hill behind, and there’s a three-storey pagoda high up the hillside. The view of Onomichi Bridge from the path behind the pagoda is one of the representative views of the city. It’s called Kaiuntō, the Pagoda of Sea Clouds.

In the main hall there are 526 arhats, semi-enlightened follows of the Buddha. They were donated over a period of about 60 years from 1804-1824 in the Edo to the early Meiji period. Each has a unique face. Underneath the arhats is a zazen hall where you can experience zazen meditation free of charge.

In spring, the temple is known for its spectacular weeping cherry blossoms and peonies, which attract many visitors. The temple is also one of the temples of the Onomichi Seven Buddhas.

The temple was founded in 1367. The third shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu stayed at the temple in 1389 and was treated to a feast by the governor of the Bingo domain.

The pagoda was built in 1388 by Ashikaga Yoshinori, the sixth shōgun of the Ashikaga shogunate. Originally it had five storeys, but in 1692, the upper two storeys were removed due to deterioration.


Name in Japanese: 天寧寺

Pronunciation: ten-nei-ji

Address: 17-29 Higashitsuchidocho, Onomichi, Hiroshima 722-0033

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