Suma Temple 0

Away from the busy rush of tourists is Sumadera Temple in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, a temple dating back to ancient times. Suma is the perfect area to discover the historic Sumadera Temple and take in scenic views of Kobe Bay. Suma can be accessed by Sanyo Electric Railway, but you can also make your trip from Umeda or Namba Stations directly on the Hanshin Line.

Sumadera Temple 

Sumadera Temple is a place of deep history and religion filled with beautiful natural sights throughout the changing seasons. Founded in 886, it is a Shingon Buddhist temple and now serves as a memorial to the Gempei War. The war occurred between warring states, the most influential samurai clans of that time: the Minamoto and Taira clans. Here, within the Sumadera Temple complex, is a treasure hall where you can view artifacts and historical representations of what happened during the war.

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In the treasure hall, you are surrounded by relics and artifacts from the past. You can also sit on benches and lounge while viewing falling autumn leaves. It’s a serene place where you can feel at peace and ease.

A notable section of Sumadera Temple, left of the main hall, is a magnificent pagoda that stands three stories high next to gravestones and statues. The trees in the backdrop highlight its profound color and beauty.

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Walking Through the Gempei Garden

Walking through the Gempei garden, you can see statues of Kumagai Naozane and Taira no Atsumori dueling while mounted on horses for battle. The garden tells the tragic tale of how Naozane, the commander of Minamoto clan, would soon kill Atsumori,  the young commander of the Taira clan.

 It is a tale that has no happy ending. Naozane was remorseful as he had to kill someone as old as his own son. This melancholic story reminds visitors about the fundamental views of bushido philosophy, which considers every moment as fleeting and impermanent.

 Despite this tragic history, Sumadera Temple is now a peaceful place where visitors can see a beautiful temple architecture, fall foliage, scenic year-round gardens and much more.

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Access 

From Sannomiya Station, take the Sanyo Electric Railway headed for Kosoku-Kobe Station to Sumadera Station. From Sumadera Station, walk through the station exit, turn left and up the pathway. It will take roughly 10 minutes to walk on foot to the temple neighborhood, about 0.6 km (0.37 miles) away.

Sumaura Park

Once you make your way back to Sanyo-Suma Station, the scenic Sumaura Park is one stop away on the Sanyo Electric Railway. Right outside of the station there is a park where you can rest, have a picnic, and enjoy an excellent view of Kobe Bay. Additionally, there is a ropeway that you can use to make your way up to the top of the park for a better view. Sumaura Park is also a popular place for photographers, since you can view passing trains with Kobe Bay in the background. If you are lucky enough to catch sunset, you are in for a stunning view.

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Suma is the perfect area to discover the historic Sumadera Temple and take in scenic views of Kobe Bay. Suma can be accessed by Sanyo Electric Railway, but you can also make your trip from Umeda or Namba Stations directly on the Hanshin Line.

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CHRISTIAN BATOON

From a small city of Hawaii now living in my favorite city Osaka for 3 years, Chris is now touring Japan and seeking for life's answers through his travels. Come follow him on his adventures!