Hotel Built Over Osaka’s Mitsutera Temple in Japan
The Candeo Hotels Osaka Shinsaibashi, a 15-story high-rise hotel, opened its doors to reporters on October 11, with its official grand opening scheduled for the following month, over Osaka Temple.
The hotel is unique as it incorporates the historic Mitsutera temple on its lower floors, allowing the 215-year-old temple hall to coexist with a new commercial complex, while the upper floors house guest rooms.
The Mitsutera temple, affectionately referred to as Mittera-san by locals, had its main hall lifted and relocated in one piece to face Midosuji, Osaka’s main street. This move facilitated the construction of a tower block behind and around the temple.
Shunyu Kaga, the deputy head priest of Mitsutera temple, expressed that the temple, now situated facing a main thoroughfare, has transformed into a more inviting and friendly space for general visitors.
The complex in Osaka’s Chuo Ward is set to open to the public on November 26. Hotel guests at the Candeo Hotels Osaka Shinsaibashi will have the opportunity to participate in the temple’s ceremonies, such as morning prayers, “eshakyo” (transcription of sutra and Buddha images), and meditation.
The construction project involving Mitsutera temple and Tokyo Tatemono Co., a Tokyo-based property developer, was carried out collaboratively. The financial challenges faced by the temple, attributed to a decline in parishioner numbers and a growing preference for simplified funerals, prompted the project. The main hall of Mitsutera, reconstructed after a fire in the late Edo Period, was elevated and relocated in one piece alongside the sidewalk of Midosuji.
According to Kaga, the deputy head priest, the juxtaposition of incense from Mitsutera temple and the perfumes emanating from the high-fashion boutiques along Midosuji could create a delightful ambiance for strolling in the area.
The agreement involves a fixed-term land leasehold of 50 years, with Mitsutera using the rent to fund various expenses, including repairs to the main hall and altar fittings.