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If you’re looking for a day of variety, taking a trip to Shitennoji Temple in the morning, followed by a relaxing afternoon being massaged and bathing at Spa World, is a great idea. Both of these venues are easy to get to, and provide you with very different but equally pleasant memories of your trip to Osaka.
Shitennoji Temple can be reached in a 9-minute walk from Shitennojimae Yuhigaoka Station.
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Starting out at Showacho Station, you should take the Osaka City Subway Midosuji Line to Tennoji Station from where it takes 10-15 minutes to walk to Shitennoji Temple. This train journey takes two minutes. If you want a slightly shorter walk you can change onto the Osaka City Subway Tanimachi Line at Tennoji Station, for the one minute journey to Shitennoji-mae-Yuhigaoka Station. Both of these journeys cost about the same, ¥180.
Taking a look at history at Shitennoji Temple
Shitennoji Temple is often said to be the oldest temple in Japan, but, in reality, nothing of the original sixth century structure remains. The temple has been rebuilt several times over the years. However, there are still ancient structures to be seen at the site. The main entrance dates from as far back as 1294, and the oldest remaining buildings were built in 1623. The five story pagoda and the halls were built after World War II as a reconstruction of the original temple structures.
The Shitennoji Temple is the main home of the Washu sect of Buddhism, and several treasures relating to the sect are housed in the on-site Treasure House. The Treasure House is open intermittently for exhibitions. The Gokuraku-jodo Garden is also at the site, and well worth a visit. The design of the garden is based on the Western Paradise of the Amida Buddha.
You can enter the outer grounds of the Temple free of charge, but there are charges for entrance to other parts of the site. The Inner Precinct is open from 8:30 to 16:30 from April through September, and from 8:30 to 16:00 from October through March. The cost of admission is ¥300. The Gokuraku-jodo Garden is open for the same hours, but can be subject to closures during the first ten days of each month. When the gardens are open, the last admission is half an hour before closing. The charge for entry to the gardens is ¥300. The Treasure House has the same opening hours, but again is often closed. It is open only when an exhibition is taking place. The charge for entry is ¥500.
Once you have finished your visit to Shitennoji Temple, you can make your way to Spa World, for an afternoon of relaxation.
Bathing and massage at Spa World
The main bathing at Spa World is split into two areas, European and Asian. Within these areas there are several different experiences, including Greece (an herbal bath), Ancient Rome (a luxury Jacuzzi) and the Japanese outdoor baths. During odd months, the European Zone is women only and the Asian Zone is men only; during even months the situation is reversed.
Swimming is also available. There is an area for children, as well as an area with slides and a Jacuzzi style bath. After bathing or swimming, you can receive a relaxing massage. The venue is open from 10:00 through 8:45 the following morning, but opening times for the individual activities vary, so it’s a good idea to check beforehand. The entrance charge is ¥2,400 for anyone aged 12 or over during the week (three hour pass) or ¥2,700 (all day pass). For children under the age of twelve, the corresponding passes are priced at ¥1,300 and ¥1,500. On the weekends passes for those 12 and over cost ¥2,700 (three hours) and ¥3,000 (all day). For children the prices are ¥1,500 (three hours) and ¥1,700 (all day). These charges include items such as towels and loungewear, but you may have to pay for extras, such as using the slides.
If you’re hungry after your full day of activity then you can also get a bite to eat in the Food Zone at Spa World. After you eat you can take the Osaka City Subway Midosuji Line from Dobutsuen-Mae Station to your starting point at Showacho Station. The journey takes five minutes and costs ¥180.
The Spa World can be reached in a 6-minute walk from Dobutsuenmae Station.
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To get to Spa World from Shitennoji Temple you can take the Osaka City Subway Midosuji Line from Tennoji Station to Dobutsuen-Mae Station. This journey takes two minutes and costs ¥180. You can also take the Osaka Loop Line (Outer loop) from Tennoji Station to Shin-Imamiya Station. This journey takes two minutes and costs ¥120.
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