Chill with the world's largest bronze Buddha.
This temple attracts 1 million visitors yearly who travel to the southern tip of Japan to find the world’s largest “reclining” bronze Buddha. Just a 25-minute train ride from Fukuoka City lets you escape urban life and explore the mysticism of nature at Nanzo-in Temple.
Built in 1899, Nanzo-in Temple belongs to the esoteric school of Shingon Buddhism. This sect centers around nature and mountains, so most of the Shingon temples are hidden in forests or mountain tops. Nanzo-in is no different. Located in the quaint, forested town of Sasaguri, the temple is a stop on the “Sasaguri 88,” one of the most famous pilgrimage routes in Japan.
The surroundings are fun to explore, dotted as they are with ponds, temple houses and sculptures of animals and deities. Nanzo-in itself is said to bring extremely good luck after a chief priest once won the lottery on temple grounds. Due to this, travelers from all over Japan visit to pray for luck in love, work or school.
About the Buddha
Tucked away on the mountaintop, the trail from the nearest station up to the great Buddha is an opportunity to breathe in fresh air. Plus, it’s short and easy to find. The Buddha, who is lying horizontally, is 41-meters long, 11-meters high and is said to weigh around 300 tons. Giant Buddha statues are common in Japan and found in many cities throughout the country. Fukuoka’s own Buddha, called Nehanzo or Shakanehanzou, portrays the scene where the Buddha is dying and reaching nirvana. It was a gift to Japan from Myanmar, as thanks for financial and humanitarian aid.
The Buddha is 41-meters long, 11-meters high and is said to weigh around 300 tons.
You can admire the Buddha from the front but you can also walk all the way around it without hindrance. Five different-colored strings are tied down from the Buddha’s hand and visitors can connect with the Buddha while holding these strings. This act represents holding Buddha’s hand while he is reaching nirvana and at the same time, absorbing his knowledge.
Last, don’t forget to stop and enjoy the breathtaking view of the city of Sasaguri from the area.