Among the hustle and bustle of Osaka’s renowned shopping and foodie street, Dotonbori, lies a cobblestone alleyway, Hozenji Yokocho, that leads visitors into old Japan. On the far western end of the alley stands the small, yet locally cherished Hozenji Temple. This Buddhist temple, built in 1637, is dedicated to Fudo Myoo, one of the five wisdom kings. During the 17th century, the temple played host to rakugo storytelling and stage performances in the up-and-coming entertainment district.
What Hozenji lacks in space, it makes up for in ambience. Follow cobblestone streets past traditional storefronts to reach the modest temple. If you visit during the early morning, evening, or night, your journey will be bathed in the warm glow of lantern light. Once you reach Hozenji, pass under the entrance into the covered area and approach the principal object of worship, the Fudo Myoo statue, which has a bowl and ladle in front of it. It is customary to ladle water onto the statue when you pray for good luck, thus earning the statue the nickname Mizukake (water-throwing) Fudo. Due to years of prayer, the statue has become perpetually covered in moss, giving it a mystical aura.
After praying to Fudo Myoo, enjoy the culture of the area by exploring Hozenji Yokocho’s okonomiyaki shops, izakayas, and multitude of restaurants. For a more high-energy experience, take a short walk to flashy Dotonbori and fill your night with street food, bar hopping, neon lights, and more.
Hozenji is about a 5-minute walk from Namba Station (Exit 14).
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