Explanation of features of each event

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On the second Sunday of every month, from 10am to 11:45am a Samadhi (meditative concentration) experience is held in the National Treasure Zen Room. (500 yen to participate) Because Dosho Osho priest, Gangoji’s was the first to introduce Zen to Japan, every time, there are a lot of priests (Zen monks, high-ranking Buddhist priests, Esoteric Buddhist priests) to guide you through a Samadhi meditation. The name Zeshin-kai comes from the Kaneiyuizesshin of proper Zen practice based on Yuishiki (consciousness-only theory).

Minowa Kenryo (Professor of The University of Tokyo, Graduate School)

Meditation instructors:

  • Nakajima Soko (a master priest of Tamadai-ji temple in the Rinzai sect)
  • Taniyo (a Thai priest)
  • Yosida Eirei
  • Kitamura Haruyuki

The meditation instructors will take turn teaching the class by monthly shift.

e-mail :kisankoike★ (Please replace★by @, when sending.)


Gokito Goma, holy fire memorial service

Gokito Goma, holy fire memorial service

Goma Kuyo, holy fire offering is made on the dirt floor in Shoshibo in front of the north-facing Fudo-son enshrined there.


Shusho-e, memorial service on the new year’s day

A religious service to honor the new year is held from midnight at the Gokuraku-do Hall (the main hall).
After the gates opened at 9am, prayers are also offer for social success at the Horinkan in front of the m iniature five-storied pagoda.


Setsubun-e (February 3), for celebrating the day before the first day of spring.


A standing image of Namikiri Fudo Myo-o (Fujiwara Era) and a sitting image of Hozan-ji Tankai Fudo Myo-o (Edo Era) are transferred to the inner holy place in the main hall where prayers are offered to ward off evil, keep the home safe, and fulfill your heart’s desire.
On the temple grounds, ascetic monks from Motosanjo Senko-ji temple celebrate the Star Festival, and offer the Saito Oogoma-ku holy fires and walk on fire while offering prayers to ward off evil and invite good luck.

The Saito Oogoma-ku holy fires consist of praying to Fudo Myo-o by inviting him into the fire and then making fire wood offerings with your prayers written on them. When the wood has burned, Fudo Myo-o will hear your prayers.
On the stage, men and women celebrating their zodiac birth year throw beans. The bean throwing comes from a Shinto ritual of chasing away demons. The original cry was, “Good luck inside,” but the opposite cry -- “Out with the demons!” -- has also been used. Gangoji is home to the Yao Ikaduchi-no-kami and the Gangoze, so lately, the cries have been, “Good luck inside, demons inside!” People are asking for good luck to come inside their house and for fierce gods to chase real evil out of your body.


About the Setsubun-e prayers

Please send your prayer fee along with your registration.

Registration here

Prayer registrations should be sent here:

To: Gangoji
11 Chuin-cho, Nara City, 630-8392


Soe Goma, holy fire offering

Soe Goma

Please enter the participant’s name and age by counting in the old way. You write a prayer on a piece of wood (a stupa), then the priest will add it to the holy fire to pray for protection from evil.

Cost: From 500 yen (Includes prayer on the temple grounds; nothing is sent to you)

Gagoze prayer request

Gagoze prayer request

Besides the Soe Goma holy fire prayer, Gangoji paper talismans and Gagoze holy votive pictures are available.
For addresses that prefer to have these delivered, the temple will send them directly along with a greeting, “On New Year’s Eve, we are sending a Gagoze holy votive pictures used to humbly pray for blessings onto you.” We specialize in sending to families with children entering school or the workforce, a service that is popular every year. The holy votive pictures can be displayed anywhere, but if possible, place them to the northeast. The paper talismans should be kept out of the kitchen and other places where there is fire.

Cost: From 2,000 yen (temple holy prayer wood offering, votive picture, paper talisman included)

Special prayer


Besides the Soe Goma holy fire prayer, we offer special prayers at the Honzon principle image altar. Please specify your prayer request in legible writing. We will send a votive picture, paper talisman, and protective amulet.

Cost: From 5,000 yen
(includes a special prayer request including Oogoma holy fire prayer conducted in the temple grounds of the main hall of Fudo Myo-o, a votive picture, paper talisman and a protective amulet.)

Higan-e, memorial services during equinoctial week in Spring (on the vernal equinox day)


The Higan-e memorial service is conducted in the middle of equinoctial week. Stupas are offered to console the spirits of deceased people. During this time, the Chiko Mandala hanging scroll is displayed in the inner holy place in the main hall.


Flower Festival (May 8)

Flower Festival

A celebration of Buddha’s birthday. We make a small hall decorated with flowers and the image of Buddha in front of the main hall, and hold a Kanbutsu-e ceremony to celebrate Buddha’s birthday. There is a service for the Gokuraku-bo preschoolers, and hydrangea tea is served for visitors.


Memorial service for Chukokaizan (May 27)

To pay respect to the predecessors, Taien Dai-wajo, Kosei Bosatsu and Chiko Hosshi, who contributed to the Gangoji temple, the memorial service is conducted to pray for their continuous blessing.


Frog stone memorial service (July 7)

Frog stone

The memorial service for the frog stone transferred from the Osaka castle to the Gangoji temple grounds, as well as for the benefit of suffering spirits.


Memorial service for Kainoduka Fudo-son (July 28)

Kainoduka Fudo-son

The comprehensive memorial service conducted for the stone statues, especially for the Fudo Myo-o transferred to Nara Kainoduka-cho.


Jizo-e, commemoration event for Jizo (August 23 and 24)


The Gangoji Jizo-e is a religious event restored in 1948. Based on the original style, decorate the Mandala-do Hall with many votive lanterns dedicated by notable persons from various fields. The current commemoration style with dedicating votive lights was started when the Futoden was arranged in 1988.

The event schedule

≪August 23≫

  • At 5pm, the memorial service starts
  • Festival stalls and the playground for kids are available.
  • At 9 pm, Gate closed

≪August 24≫

  • At 5 pm, the memorial service starts
  • 6 pm - 7:30 pm, Sound and Light Mandala, performed by Nihon Taidouha souke Otsuki Kazumasa etc.
  • At 9 pm, Gate closed

≪Commemoration service≫

service consists of various services and events:

  • The memorial service for Jizo-son by offering stupas and votive lights, distribution of a votive image of Jizo-son, festival stalls, and dedication performances. During the ceremony, Jizo-son is enshrined on the Shumidan altar in the Mandala-do Hall (the national treasure, Gokuraku-do Hall) to conduct the service.
  • For offering a stupa, write a prayer with ink on a piece of wood (stupa) shaped in the Gorin five-tier stone tower, then the priest will pray for one by one in the garden before Futoden, and pour the pure water over the stupas in Soshi-en located in the farthest point in the back of Futoden.
  • Manto Kuyo-e (an event to commemorate Jizo and offer many votive lights) starts from evening on both dates. Pour rapeseed oil into a votive candle dish written with a prayer with ink, and lit a lamp core made with rushes. The dishes used for votive candles are eco-friendly, because they are produced in a low temperature furnace, which makes easily biodegradable. The rapeseed oi is procured by a rape blossom project, and rush lamp core were donated by the Votive Light Conservation Association operated by the History Folk Museum of Arai-cho Nara Prefecture.

    Application form here

  • Jizo-son Mikage is a votive image made by a woodblock printing of Jizo Bodhisattva dedicated to Gango-ji. Jizo-son Mikage should be enshrined on some places higher than your eye-level, by attaching on a pillar. Pray for their protection and warding off evil. An application form for Manto Kuyo-e (offering many votive light to commemorate Jizo) should be obtained here:

Higan-e memorial services during equinoctial week in Autumn (on the autumn equinox day)


The Higan-e memorial service is conducted in the middle of equinoctial week. Stupas are offered to console the spirits of deceased people. During this time, the Chiko Mandala hanging scroll is displayed in the inner holy place in the main hall.


Tea ceremony to commemorate Yugen October, 28 (Yamato cabinetmaker, Kawasaki Yugen, Anniversary of his death)


To commemorate Kawasaki Yugen who was a notable cabinetmaker in Nara. He was a craftsman who made accessories with wood and boxes. Commemorate his death at Tairakuken constructed by him, while having a tea ceremony.


Special display in Autumn (from the end of October to early November)


The research results are presented in corporation with the Gangoji institute for research of cultural property. At this time, the Chiko Mandala Itae panel designated as an important cultural property is specially displayed.


Commemoration of Buddha’s footprint stone (December 8)


Commemoration ceremony of Buddha. Enshrine the image of Buddha in front of Buddha’s footprint stone.


Set in the land of beginnings with a history spanning 1,300 years,
Gangoji is a National Treasure and World Heritage Site of Nara.