Adashino Nembutsu-ji

Gold and silver, status and power, all return to heaven and earth.
Profits and loss, having and lacking, are all essentially empty.
Aristocrats and peasants, saints and sinner, end up the same.
We are bound by fate to the whirl of existence.
How lamentable, the Beggar of Ryogoku Bridge
Who perished in a dreadful flood.
If you ask me about his whereabouts, I’ll reply:
“In the heart of the moon’s reflection on the waves!”


This temple to the unknown dead of past centuries is located in the Toriimoto area.

One is claimed is that was founded by Priest Kukai (Kobo Daishi, 774-835) in the 9th century. Before this time the bodies of those who were without family or friends were left unburied at the site. Adashino means “Place of Sadness”.

In the 12th century, Priest Honen (1133-1211) lived at the temple. It became the center for the repetition of the Nembutsu (“Praise to the Buddha Amida”).

The Adashino Nembutsu-ji is noted for its annual O-Bon Memorial Ceremony, which occurs on the evenings of August 23 and 24. More than 1,000 candles are offered to the Buddha images in the graveyard. Reservations for this service must be requested in writing to the temple in June.

On the night of the full moon in late September/October, a Moon Viewing Ceremony occurs at the temple at 6:00 p.m.