The site of two famous bells, Mii-dera
Mii-dera is a shrine that presides over one of the Buddhist sects in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, the Tendai-ji Monsho. The full name is Nagarasanonjou-ji but it is commonly referred to as just Mii-dera. It is famous as one of the 8 beautiful landscapes of Omi-no-kuni (Shiga Prefecture) for the Mii-dera Evening Bell. The principal object of worship here is the Miroku Bosatsu (Matreiya), and there are "6 bodies" of the Buddha enshrined here—Emperor Shomu, Emperor Yozei, Fujiwara no Michinaga, his ancestor Fujiwara no Kamatari, and the priest Gyo-ki. The Chisho-daiji is also enshrined here, and the main temple building is known as "Kondo". Mii-dera’s main gate "Nio-mon" has a magnificent and thick construction, and inside the gate is enshrined with images of deva kings. This gate is said to be made by the genius Buddhist image maker Unkei. When you pass through the Nio-mon directly in front of you is the Kondo. The bell tower, known as Mii no Bansho, is set up in front of the area to the southeast of the Kondo. The bell is called Mii-bansho, and its solemn tone is known as the "Voice of Mii-dera". For 300 yen you can ring the bell one time. Mii-dera has one other famous bell, "Benkei". It is famous because of the legend that Benkei was stolen from the shrine and dragged all the way to Mt. Hiei, and to this day there are scars on the bell from where it was dragged.
By public transit, take the Keihan train’s Ishiyama-Sakamoto Line to Mii-dera Station (三井寺駅) and you can walk 10 minutes to the shrine from there. You can also use the JR Tokaido Line’s Otsu Station (大津駅) or the JR Kosei Line’s Otsukyo Station (大津京駅) and from either of these stations you can take a Keihan bus, and get off at the Mii-dera stop (三井寺). By car, take the Meishin Expressway to Otsu IC (大津) and it’s about 10 minutes. There is a parking lot, the fee is 500 yen for a normal-size car.
Image Gallery: Mii-dera Temple ( Nagarasan Onjo-ji Temple)
Description: Mii-dera Temple ( Nagarasan Onjo-ji Temple)
|Sights||Mii-dera Temple ( Nagarasan Onjo-ji Temple) (三井寺(長等山園城寺))|
246 Onjōjichō, Ōtsu-shi, Shiga-ken 520-0036
|Phone / Fax||Phone: 077-522-2238|
|Admission Fee||Pay admission: 600yen|
Spring (March - May)Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
|Recommended target||Family Groups Child (ages 7-17) Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller|
Map: Mii-dera Temple ( Nagarasan Onjo-ji Temple)