Kimiidera - Wakayama

Located in 1201 Kimiidera, Wakayama City in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, Kimiidera (紀三井寺) is a mountaintop temple which is part (#2) of the Saigoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage of Western Japan.


Kimiidera Details

Also known as Gokukuin, Kimiidera was believed to have been established in 770AD by a Chinese Buddhist monk named Weiguang.

Kimiidera - Wakayama City

It was believed that monk Weiguang carved the statues of Kannon Bodhisattra which was placed in the original prayer hall.

The Sakura-mon (gate) found at the bottom of the hill 

The Sakura-mon (gate) up close

Small figurines found around the vicinity

The Shinbutsuden houses one of the largest images of Buddha

The statue of Buddha inside the temple (Senju Kannon)

Throw a coin and be lucky.

The bell outside the first temple

Kimiidera became prominent during the rule of Japanese Emperor Shirakawa. He proclaimed the temple as an imperial temple. Kimiidera (Temple) once belonged to the Shingon Sect of Japanese Buddhism but today is under the Kusekannon Zong sect of Buddhism.

Kimiidera's Hondo

The other structures in the vicinity of Kimiidera:


Maigo no Tegami



Haruko Inari



Aside from the main temple, there are many other structures found in Kimiidera's compound. In one of these structures, you'd find the giant golden Buddha with its multiple hands stretched out carrying various stuff. Other structures date back hundreds of years ago. But before you could visit these structures, be ready to climb up the 231-step walkway. It would be tiring but the view from the top is worth it.

A closer look at the Hondo of Kimiidera

Probably a century-old (or more) incense pot

A view from the side

Prayer paddles / ema paddles

Can someone please tell me what the inscription says?

Some very old paintings hung at the temple entrance

The view of the Wakanoura and the city from Kimiidera

Kimiidera is also visited during the Cherry Blossom Season (late April) when a major festival is held in the temple grounds.

The Backpack Adventures visits Kimiidera

I visited Kimiidera during my solo backpacking trip to Wakayama Prefecture on the 7th day of our 2014-2015 Japan tour. I visited Kimiidera right after my tour around Wakayama Castle. It is also the first temple that I visited. When I found out that it is part of the Saigoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage, I got more excited to visit the other temples that's part of the pilgrimage. However, I think that is reserved for our next visit to Japan im the near future.

Kimiidera Entrance Fee

Kimiidera Entrance Fee

The handout and ticket from the ticket booth of Kimiidera

Kimiidera Operating Hours

Kimiidera is open from 8AM - 5PM.

Why visit Kimiidera?

Kimiidera is temple #2 of the Saigoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage of Western Japan. This temple is a must-visit if you plan to complete the pilgrimage. Regardless, even if you are not doing the Saigoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage, Kimiidera is still a must-visit if you want to go on a cherry blossom viewing in the City of Wakayama.

Getting to Kimiidera:

Yup you're on the right path

map from

Ride a JR train (Kisei Line) and board down at JR Kimiidera Station. From there, the temple is just a short walk away. (Don't rejoice yet! There is still the 231 steps up the compound!)

Overall rating


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