The Beautiful Nanzoin Temple Fukuoka
Nanzoin Temple located just outside Fukuoka is a stunning temple complex which houses a large bronze reclining Buddha statue. It’s said to be the biggest bronze statue in the world! If you’re looking for things to do in Fukuoka or small day trips outside the big city; then this is the place to go. Read on for more information in this Japan travel blog post on Nanzoin Temple.
Quick Facts About Nanzoin Temple Fukuoka
- The temple was originally build on Mt. Koyasan, but was moved to Sasaguri as local anti-Buddhist authorities threatened to destroy the temple.
- Nanzoin temple is one of the 88 temple that are part of the Sasaguri pilgrimage. Which is one of the main three pilgrimage routes in Japan. The big reclining Buddha at Nanzoin Temple holds sand of the 88 temples that are part of the Sasaguri pilgrimage.
- The temple complex receives over 1 million visitors a year.
The Temple Of The Reclining Buddha
The most impressive thing about this temple is the big Buddha statue, which is in a reclined position. The statue represents the Buddha at the moment of his death. The reclining Buddha, built in 1995, is 41 meters in length, and around 11 meters in height, and has a weight of almost 300 ton.
The History And Legend Of Nanzoin Temple
The temple is said to bring good luck when playing in the lottery. As a chief priest of the Nanzoin Temple won the lottery once after he laid his lottery ticket next to the statue of Daikoku. The temple also claims that other visitors have won the lottery after paying a visit to the temple.
Nanzoin offers so much more than the bronze Buddha statue, it is a large complex on a hillside with many hidden chapels and shrines. Other impressive statues are the Fudo Myo-o statue and around 500 small statues of the disciples of Buddha.
All these little pathways and statues give the temple complex an mysterious vibe which is perfect if you’re into photography!
Events At Nanzoin Temple
The celebration day of Buddha’s birthday is different from country to country but in Japan they celebrate it on the 8th of April. During this day each temple across the country holds a ceremony. During the celebration Japanese people pour some sort of tea (amacha) over the Buddha statues and lay flowers around the biggest Buddha in the world made out of bronze. This represents bathing the newborn Buddha.
At Nanzoin Temple the priests are dressed in long blue robes and hold readings in front of the a temporary altar.
Buddhism in japan is still very present, as 34% of the Japanese population practices Buddhism. So be prepared, during Buddhist celebrations the temples will be overcrowded.
The Sasaguri Pilgrimage is a well known pilgrimage route in Japan. The 44 kilometer long pilgrimage passes along 88 sites, 26 of these sites are full size temples. Nanzoin temple is the first temple on the route. This pilgrimage created in the early 19th century only takes 3 days to complete.
The highest point during the Sasaguri Pilgrimage is Okunoin which is located at the top of Mount Wakasugi (681 meters in altitude). In most of the temples pilgrims can find rest areas and tea rooms.
Address: Japan, 〒811-2405 Fukuoka Prefecture
Opening Hours: 24/7, but shop and reception open from 9:00 – 17:00
Website: Nanzoin Temple (in Japanese only)
Access: the temple is easiest accessible from Fukuoka by train. Take the Fukuhoku Yutaka Line (line 8) from JR Hakata station to Kido-Nanzoin-mae Station (35 minutes and running every 30 minutes). When arriving at Nanzoin station it is a short 5 minute walk to the entrance of the temple.
Entrance Fee: Free