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Photo By: Abhijit Sen
Largest City

Tokyo Daibutsu

Explore the peaceful northern suburbs of Tokyo and visit the Great Buddha of Tokyo.

By Abhijit Sen

The Tokyo Daibutsu (big Buddha statue) is unknown to many travelers despite being in one of the busiest cities in the world. It’s hidden in deep in the suburbs within a temple with an ancient history. The immense bronze statue, once ranked next to Nara and Kamakura, can be seen at Tokyo’s Joren-ji Temple premises.

Statue origins

Photo by: WikiCommons/ t.suzuki Built to ward off natural disasters and wars.

Joren-ji is a temple of the Jodo sect located in Itabashi Ward on the northwest corner of Tokyo. This 600-year-old temple was originally located in Itabashi-juku on the Nakasendo, one of Edo’s four post towns. But due to the modernization of the city and the construction of a new expressway, the temple was relocated.

In the Ouei era (1394-1428), Eirensha Ryokenmuteki founded this temple. However, the statue is not that old. In 1977, this statue was opened to the public. This towering Amitabha Buddha statue was built with prayers for a peaceful future so that no major natural disasters like earthquakes or wars would ever occur in the region.

At the time of construction, this colossal bronze statue, 13-meters high and weighing 32 tons, was the third largest after the daibutsu of Todai-ji temple and the Great Buddha of Kamakura in Japan.

Exploring the temple

Photo by: Abhijit Sen A timeless keepsake from your trip to Joren-ji Temple

In addition, there is a small Japanese-style garden, a pond filled with colorful carp, a bell tower, historic graves and stone statues of the Seven Lucky Gods in the precincts. A small shop on the temple ground has a variety of Japanese amulets that visitors tie in front of the statue to fulfill their wishes.

After paying a visit to Tokyo Daibutsu and Jorenji Temple consider going to Akatsuka Botanical Garden, Akatsuka Castle Site, Itabashi Art Museum and Akatsuka Park.

Being in the suburbs, these attractions remain mostly out of sight. But this beautiful temple complex alone, in such a peaceful setting within Tokyo, can easily become a great weekend getaway.

Things To Know

Hours and fees

Throughout the year, this temple is open for visitors from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. There is no charge to enter the temple. For more details, visit the official website of the temple.

How To Get There



By train

The closest train stations to Tokyo Daibutsu are Narimasu Station and Shimo-Akatsuka Station on the Tobu Tojo line and Chikatetsu-Narimasu Station on the Tokyo Subway line.

By bus

From Narimasu Station take a Kokusai Kogyo bus from the north exit of the station area to Akabane Station West Exit and get off at Akatsuka 8-chome.

By foot

From Narimasu Station, Shimo Akatsuka Station or Chikatetsu-Narimasu Station it is approximately twenty minutes walk to reach the temple.

Where To Stay

Wakoshi Tobu Hotel
  • 4-7 Honcho, Wako-shi, Saitama, 351-0114 Japan
  • ¥7,800 - ¥44,400
  • 4.7/5 (465 reviews)
  • 3.0 km
Hotel Cadenza Tokyo
  • 5-8-20 Takamatsu, Nerima-ku, Tokyo, 179-0075 Japan
  • ¥13,100 - ¥25,800
  • 4.22/5 (1,926 reviews)
  • 3.7 km
Hotel Livemax Saitama Asaka-Ekimae
  • 2-6-9 Honcho, Asaka-shi, Saitama, 351-0011 Japan
  • ¥7,650 - ¥46,750
  • 3.73/5 (192 reviews)
  • 4.6 km
Flexstay Inn Tokiwadai
  • 1-52-5 Tokiwadai, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo, 174-0071 Japan
  • ¥7,600 - ¥10,200
  • 3/5 (468 reviews)
  • 5.1 km
Flexstay Inn Ekoda
  • 8-6 Sakaecho, Nerima-ku, Tokyo, 176-0006 Japan
  • ¥7,100 - ¥15,000
  • 3.96/5 (866 reviews)
  • 5.6 km

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