Hell Experience at Senkoji, Osaka
If you want to visit a unique spot that not many people are aware of in Osaka, I definitely recommend you to check out Senkoji. At this temple you can experience “Hell” and also “Heaven.”
Senkoji is located in the suburb of Osaka and you will find an ordinary temple in the middle of the local shopping street.
You can already find a sign of Hell experience at the gate. The sign says “If you tell a lie, your tongue will be ripped!”
There were only a few more people besides me so it was really quiet.
This demon sign shows a way to Hell and Heaven.
First I decided to try Hell experience. Outside of the building, you can check if you’re going to Heaven or Hell. Luckily they told me that I’m going to Heaven so I was relieved. Phew! Let’s check out the best/scariest part, the inside!
The great king Enma sits in the center and you realize that you are stared by the Enma, his 10 judges, a demon and a creepy woman (ghost?) in this tiny building. I’m telling you, this is PRETTY TERRIFYING. Even though I went during day time in late March, it was so dark and somehow chill inside and that added nothing but more creepiness.
There is a gong below the great king Enma and when you rang it, a creepy story about a man who has been to Hell starts on the screen which looks like a mirror by a demon. In this story they tell you that if you steal, lie, or hurt people you will be tortured in many ways in Hell, and at the end a strong message “You only have one life” shows up. With the end of this creepy animation, it also ends my Hell experience.
This hell experience was quite traumatizing even for adults like me. This Hell building was made to teach kids lessons why you must not do bad things in your life and otherwise you would go to hell.
At this temple, there’s also this unique “Hell Stone.” You can put your head into the stone and you’re supposed to be able to hear the sound of the oven in Hell. (I tried but I couldn’t hear anything. Haha)
Now it’s time to experience Heaven!
You’re going down to underground in the cave, so it’s surprisingly cold and a little bit creepy (more than Hell building!). I got a little bit scared going down the stairs although I knew that this one is supposed to be Heaven / a land of Buddha. When you go all the way down, you will realize that you’re surrounded by 151 stone Buddha statues and there’s a beautiful glass mandala right in front of your eyes. You can hear the sound of water dripping and it’s quite refreshing. If you wish you can take off your shoes and meditate on it.
Overall, Senkoji is a really interesting spot to visit and I believe it was one of the most impressing memories that I made during my Osaka trip. I went there by myself but I wish I was with someone else to share this thrills that I experienced at Senkoji. If you have been to Osaka before or you’re simply looking for some unique spots that not many people go to, Senkoji is the place that you want to check out!
4-12-21 Hirano Honmachi, Hirano-ku, Osaka