Hannyaji is quite famous for flower viewing during certain periods of the year. There is also a small working farm in front of Hannyaji temple and the prison and temple and farm are all are within walking distance of each other, with the prison being some 250 meters from the front entrance of Hannyaji temple.
Hannyaji is a small temple that is famous for its cosmos flowers that are small and purple. As it was early November when I went there the flowers were not fully in bloom, but it was possible to look inside the main hall, which contained an altar that had a demon riding on a kind of monster. It was dark to see clearly so a flashlight was provided to look into the altar and see the demon. Photographs are not permitted inside and a Buddhist monk was sitting nearby selling trinkets and Buddhist amulets etc. The original hall was built in 1667 but burned down during the War Period (Sengoku Jidai) but has since been rebuilt. In the front of the main hall is a large stone tower which has some 13 stones layered on one another, and is considered to be the largest such tower in Japan. At the rear of the main hall is a small annex where one can occasionally see national treasures on display, for an entrance fee of 200 yen. At the front of the temple on the roadside is a large wooden arch and is said to be typical of those arches from the Kamakura period.
From Kintetsu Nara or JR Nara station, take the bus "Aoyama Jutaku-mae" (about 10 minutes) get off at Hannyaji, walk about 3 minutes to Hannayji temple. It is across the road from Uemura bokujo so its easy to find, you will see the big gate on your right and the entry is a few yards past the big gate.
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I'm 49 years young and come from Auckland, New Zealand. I have now lived in Japan about 25 years, almost the entire time has been spent in the Kansai area. I originally lived in Takamatsu, Kagawa prefecture in 1987 and then moved to Osaka. Spending a few years in Osaka and when I married I moved to South Kyoto/Nara. I have been teaching English at several universities for a few years and since 2007 have been living in Nara. I realised after living here a while that I didn't really know much about the area I have been living in. My usual routine was to go in a straight line between home and work, and a beer on the way home. I have found some great little drinking spots and bars in my travels. Getting involved with Japan Tourist it has offered me the opportunity to go out and explore my neigborhood and to share my adventures as someone who has made Japan my home for 25 years. I hope that through Japan Tourist people will come to see the real Japan and learn a little more about the Nara I have come to know that you won't really learn about in guide books.