Mibu-dera is a Ritsu Buddhist temple founded in 991 by a monk called Kaiken to hold a memorial service for his deceased mother. The initial temple complex was lost by fire and was reconstructed in 1259.
The principal object of worship at Mibu-dera is a statue of Jizo Bosatsu. The temple claims that if you offer prayers to this image, you will easily recover from illnesses, have healthy children, become wise, be loved by people, become rich and don’t starve, be protected by gods and can go to heaven after death.
As Mibu-dera is known as a temple of Jizo Bosatsu, there are many stone statues of Jizo Bosatsu, and this temple lends these statues to communities which don’t have one during Jizo-bon, a ceremony to worship Jizo in August.
Mibu-dera is also known for the performances of kyogen. Kyogen are held during three occasions (12 days in total) a year at Dainenbutsudo, the only building designated as an Important Cultural Property in the temple.
The temple precincts were used as a training field by Shinsen-gumi in the late 19th century. Shinsen-gumi is a kind of special police force which fought for the Shogunate and killed or captured many samurai who were trying to overthrow the Shogunate. Shinsen-gumi is a pretty popular historical group, especially among young women, probably because of the influence of novels, movies, manga, etc.
depicting their glory and tragedy. There is a graveyard which is said that some members of the group are buried (admission required). There is also a museum on the precincts which displays Buddhist artifacts as well as documents about Shinsen-gumi.
The nearest station is Hankyu Kyoto Line Omiya Station or Keifuku Line Shijo-Omiya Station.
Where to eat around Mibu-dera
This chic restaurant serves Kyoto cuisines. For lunch, you can choose from three courses; yu-dofu, kiyojiro and mini-kaiseki.
This is a cool pizza restaurant using a traditional townhouse building. You can order rare brands of craft beer, too.
Where to stay around Mibu-dera
Village Kyoto is a hotel neighboring Hankyu Kyoto Line Omiya Station. It has four size types of guest rooms, from those suitable for two people, to those for five to six persons. It also has a large communal bath.
Smile Hotel Kyotoshijo
Smile Hotel Kyotoshijo is a 5-minute walk from Hankyu Line Shijo-Karasuma Station. There’s a convenience store nearby, and room rates are reasonable. Buffet-style breakfast is also popular.
Ark Hotel Kyoto
Ark Hotel Kyoto is located in front of Hankyu Line Omiya Station. The building was restored in 2014 so it’s clean, and its amenity has gained good reputation.
There are a Kyoto-style and a Western-style restaurant which offer lunch and dinner at this hotel. Breakfast is in buffet-style.