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Katsuoji Temple: Home Of Lucky Daruma Dolls That Help You Achieve Goals

Katsuoji Temple

Daruma dolls – the Japanese version of roly-poly dolls that don’t fall when pushed – reside as a formidable army at Katsuoji Temple in Osaka. Visitors often go to the temple to wish for success and bring a daruma doll back home with them as part of the ritual.

Katsuoji Temple – temple that helped a king triumph

katsuoji temple - visual
Image credit: @kerry_en_voyage

Katsuoji Temple started out as a humble hut built by two Buddhist priests in 727AD. Later, a prince built a temple called Miroku-ji on the site of the hut. 

When Emperor Seiwa got sick in the 9th century, the imperial court prayed for his recovery at Miroku-ji. The emperor eventually recovered from his illness, and the temple was renamed as Katsuoji Temple. 

katsuoji temple - autumn
Image credit: @mii2724

Katsuoji Temple roughly translates to “Temple of the victorious King” as the King’s triumph over his illness was attributed to the temple.

Daruma dolls – symbol of perseverance and resolution

katsuoji temple - daruma dolls
Image credit: @raju.krishnan86

The Japanese daruma doll differs from other good luck charms as it symbolises perseverance and eventual success. Like the other roly-poly dolls, the daruma doll will always land upright no matter how hard you push or roll it. The message here is clear: persevere through tough times and you will always land on your feet.

How to pray for success at Katsuoji Temple

Should you wish for success in your goals for the year, make sure to participate in the daruma ritual.

katsuoji temple - daruma
Image credit: @yuuki_lead

First, purchase a daruma at the temple – the standard size goes for ¥2000 (~USD17.36) per piece. 

katsuoji temple - daruma ritual
Image credit: Katsuoji Temple

Next, write your goals on the back of the daruma doll and pray for your success with the incense at the temple. Stick your incense in the ashes and hover your doll over the smoke to purify it.

katsuoji temple - colouring the eye
Image credit: Katsuoji Temple

Lastly, colour in the left eye of your daruma and bring it home with you. When you successfully complete your goals, colour in the right eye of your daruma and the ritual will be complete.

katsuoji temple - mini daruma dolls
Image credit: @mtsryk

Alternatively, you can purchase a mini daruma for ¥500 (~USD4.39) and leave it on the temple grounds to add to the ever-growing collection.

Katsuoji Temple – home of the “victor’s luck” daruma

If you are currently residing in Japan, head over to Katsuoji Temple to pray for success with the help of the “victor’s luck” daruma. Who knows, perhaps you will finally achieve your wildest dreams!

Getting there: The temple is a 15-minute taxi ride from Mino Station. You can also take the Hankyu Bus 29 from Senri-Chuo station.

Address: 2914-1 Aomatani, Minoo, Osaka 562-8508
Admission fee: ¥400 (~USD3.51) for adults; ¥300 (~USD2.63) for elementary and junior high students; ¥100 (~USD0.88) for preschoolers; free for toddlers aged 2 and below
Time: 8AM-5PM on weekdays; 8AM-5:30PM on Saturdays; 8AM-6PM on Sundays and holidays
Telephone: 072-721-7010

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Cover image adapted from: @kosuke_pht