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.

Nanzoin Temple Fukuoka

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 inside of the Buddha is hollow and holds relics, like ashes of Buddha and two of his adherents. These were gifted to the Fukuoka temple by Myanmar as a thank you for donating medical supplies to Myanmar and Nepal. Therefor the reclining Buddha, which is normally found in South East Asian countries, was commissioned to house these ashes. Make sure to walk around the large Buddha statue to have a look at the decorated soles of his feet.

Surprisingly, this little known statue is the biggest Buddha statue made out of bronze in the world!

When walking from Kido-Nanzouin-Mae station towards the temple you will have to cross the Melody Bridge. Acoustic Japanese children’s songs are being played at both the right and left side of the bridge. This brings back childhood memories for many Japanese visitors going to Nanzoin Temple.

** I visited this temple early June on a weekday and it was almost deserted. Which made this massive temple even more impressive and grant. The weather wasn’t very good, but that made contributed to the mysterious atmosphere. It took us 2 hours to look around the temple at a slow pace. **
what to do in fukuoka nanzoin temple

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!

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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

Other points of interest around Fukuoka Japan

Have you seen this largest Buddha statue in the world made out of bronze? Have any questions about visiting the temple? Let me know in the comment section below.