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Photo By: PIXTA/Hick
Region
Chubu
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Toyama
Population
1,120,843

The Great Buddha of Takaoka (Takaoka Daibutsu)

Besides the Todaiji Temple of Nara and Kamakura Daibutsu, the Great Buddha of Takaoka is also one of the three Great Buddha statues of Japan.

By Abhijit Sen

Japan is renowned for its rich cultural heritage that includes numerous Buddha statues, each with its own unique history and cultural significance. Among these, the Nara Todaiji Temple, Kamakura Daibutsu, and the Great Buddha of Takaoka are considered the most significant. The Great Buddha of Takaoka, located in Toyama Prefecture, is one of the most impressive Buddha statues in Japan.

This statue is made of bronze and stands over 15 meters tall, weighing an incredible 65 tons. It is known for its intricate details, exceptional craftsmanship, and remarkable preservation, making it a true masterpiece of Japanese art.  It is also noteworthy that the famous poet Akiko Yosano visited Takaoka Daibutsu and referred to it as the ‘Handsome Buddha’.

A Brief History

Takaoka Great Buddha

Photo by: Abhijit Sen The Takaoka Great Buddha’s pedestal doubles as a gallery that houses a variety of objects.

In 1745, a priest at Gokurakuji temple created a wooden statue of the Great Buddha, which was later destroyed by fire along with a few reproductions. The last wooden statue was destroyed in 1900, and it was then decided to create a new statue using fire-resistant material. Skilled artisans from Takaoka city crafted an exquisite bronze statue of Buddha, utilizing their exceptional talent in metal-casting.

Upon entering the temple, there are two Nio statues, which serve as guardian deities to protect against enemies. The entrance leads to a long corridor where visitors can worship the Great Buddha. As they approach, they witness its eyes slowly opening. The Takaoka Great Buddha’s pedestal doubles as a gallery that houses a variety of objects, including the wooden head of the previous statue, statues of the Amida triad, and Buddhist paintings.

Takaoka Daibutsu Matsuri

Takaoka Great Buddha

Photo by: Abhijit Sen The festival happens sometime in September.

The Takaoka Daibutsu Matsuri is an annual cleaning ritual of the Takaoka Buddha statue. During the morning ritual, monks and staff members dressed in all-white clothing carefully wipe the statue clean of impurities it has accumulated over the past year. This moving experience leaves one feeling purified in both body and soul.

Today, the Great Buddha of Takaoka stands as a testament to the skill and dedication of the people who created it, as well as a source of inspiration and admiration for those who visit it. Its beauty and cultural significance continue to attract visitors from all over the world.

Things To Know

PLACES OF INTEREST

Takaoka Kojo Park (Takaoka Castle Ruins)

In the heart of Takaoka city lies the Takaoka castle ruins, constructed by Maeda Toshinaga of the Kaga Maeda Clan’s second generation. The castle ruins were repurposed as a park after the Meiji Period, and it is located within proximity to the Great Buddha of Takaoka.

HOURS AND FEES

Open all year from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is free to enter.

How To Get There

Address

By train

Head to Takaoka station on the Ainokaze Railway. It takes approximately 10 minutes on foot to reach the location from there. Additionally, the Manyo line Sakashitacho tram stop is another option to reach the location, and it is approximately a 5-minute walk away.

Where To Stay

Daibutsu Ryokan (Takaoka)
  • 1276 Daibutsumachi, Takaoka-shi, Toyama, 933-0034 Japan
  • ¥5,600 - ¥5,600
  • 4.75/5 (151 reviews)
  • 0.1 km
Hotel New Otani Takaoka
  • 1 Shinyokomachi, Takaoka-shi, Toyama, 933-0035 Japan
  • ¥8,500 - ¥10,500
  • 4.15/5 (1,546 reviews)
  • 0.2 km
Hotel Route-Inn Takaoka Ekimae
  • 4-63 Shimozekimachi, Takaoka-shi, Toyama, 933-0021 Japan
  • ¥7,600 - ¥22,000
  • 4.05/5 (478 reviews)
  • 0.4 km
Takaoka Manten Hotel Ekimae (Manten Hotel Chain)
  • 1-8 Suehiromachi, Takaoka-shi, Toyama, 933-0023 Japan
  • ¥7,500 - ¥10,100
  • 4.14/5 (2,515 reviews)
  • 0.4 km
Smile Hotel Takaoka Ekimae
  • 5-7-13 Ekinan, Takaoka-shi, Toyama, 933-0871 Japan
  • ¥7,000 - ¥10,300
  • 3.82/5 (1,317 reviews)
  • 0.7 km

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