Nanzoin Temple: The Biggest Bronze Statue in the World?

Nanzoin Temple: The Biggest Bronze Statue in the World?
Nanzoin Temple: The Biggest Bronze Statue in the World?

The Temple of Nanzoin 南蔵院 is famous for its reclining Buddha, located near Fukuoka, Japan. In this article, I'll describe how you come to the reclining Buddha, what it costs to get to the temple Nanzoin and what else you can discover.

Let's take a closer look at Fukuoka sight of Nanzoin with the reclining Buddha in Japan:

Corinna tells me: Did you know that the largest reclining Buddha statue of Bronze is to be seen in Japan? Already on my trip to Thailand in the year 2014, I could marvel at a reclining Buddha (Wat Pho in Bangkok). And there is obviously still a larger Buddha right near Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu.

The excursion to the Nanzoin

From Hakata Station (Fukuoka) We take about 20 minutes with JR Fukuhoku Yutaka line to the Stop "Kidonanzoinmae" 城戸南蔵院前駅. At the exit of the station, we look over the parking lot on a Green mountain, where the statue is to lie. And we even see a few people who patrons very small between the green.

We now go to the left at a small souvenir shop, continue over a bridge and at the T-Junction to the right. Behind the next zebra strip, we see many stone lanterns by the wayside, which we hope to show the way to the Buddha statue.

At the end of the series, two statues greet us, with rubbed bellies.

A legend should bring happiness when you rub the belly of God's happiness. Of course, we try it too! It can't hurt... We pass by the stairs as we want to know where the left path leads us. An eagle owl, a Maneki-Neko (Lucky cat), quite a lot of Jizos with red caps and many other statues meet us on the way up.

Even a small waterfall with a bridge can be seen here. The forest is littered with hundreds of small mossy statues. A picture of what Japanese might not be.

We also view a large, angry Lorielle statue of a Buddhist deity with flames in the background.

To my knowledge, the probably Acala (Fudou Myoo), which we have already met in Kusatsu Onsen. He is a god (Vidyaraja) of Buddhism and is regarded as the "protector of doctrine". In front of temples, he is to fend off enemies and has three eyes. Acala is often equipped with a sword and a sling.

We also discover a small pond with small turtles that bask in the sun. Also from here, we can climb some stairs to a building by allowing us to buy talismans etc. But then we find a tunnel with a signpost that points us to the reclining Buddha. Many small coats of arms with Jizos are attached to the walls.

At the end of the tunnel, we have a very nice pond with Koi on the left.

Beside it a Torii, here also leads a way up; But we leave it out as we finally want to see the Buddha. We continue along the path and enjoy the beautiful view of the surrounding countryside and again and again smile at US small statues.

And then it is finally time: at the head of the Buddha we come up the way and wonder, surely, that there are no more tourists?

Due to some research, we have found the following:

The Nanzoin is the seat of a pilgrim route with a total of 88 temples and one of the so-called "3 Pilgrim Routes of Japan", such as the pilgrimage on Shikoku. The Reclining Buddha in the year about 1 million visitors, including us now.

The Buddha statue is 41 m long, 11 m high and weighs over 300 tonnes. Many think the reclining Buddha is the sleeping Buddha, but he represents the dying Buddha. Who was dying for a while after a food poisoning.

He gave his followers the same direction that they should not make a sanctuary out of him and that they should not worship him blindly. But to use his teachings to find their own way and peace, thereby freeing themselves and all living beings from suffering.

The statue also retains the sand of the surrounding 88 temples. The Buddha, as well as the reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, also has beautifully decorated soles.

In the middle of the soles of the feet is the energy point Chakra, which was previously portrayed as a simple wheel of a chariot, but later as a discus. These represent a connection between body and mind.

On one hand of the Buddha, we see colorful ribbons, the end of which you can take in your own hands, to be connected with Buddha for a brief moment.

In front of the Buddha statue, we find a small shop, which also sells ice cream, among other things. Of course, we couldn't resist to treat ourselves to a matcha ice cream.

Delicious! After a few minutes, we make our way back...

Conclusion: An impressive place and what we personally found very nice: During the week there is not much going on and this is a nice contrast to the otherwise very overrunning Japanese sightseeing spots, where we were otherwise. The temple is suitable for those who do not like the hustle and bustle and want to explore the area in peace.

In detail

  • Duration: Excursion from Hakata (Fukuoka)
  • Residence time: 3 hours
  • Track Length: 2 km
  • Directions from Hakata (Fukuoka) with JR:
    • Hakata-Ecis Station 博多駅-> JR Fukuhoku Yutaka Line/Sasaguri line 福北ゆたか線/篠栗線-> Bahnhof Kidonanzoinmae 城戸南蔵院前駅 (20-25 min, 370 yen)
    • The train costs are covered by the JR Rail Pass!

Temple Nanzoin

  • Address: 811-2405, 1035 Sasaguri, Sasaguri-machi, Kasuya-gun, Fukuoka (GoogleMaps)
  • Opening hours: Always open
  • Admission: free of charge, but there is a prayer room for Buddhists: 500 yen admission
  • PHOTOS: October 2017

Useful characters:

  • 城戸南蔵院前駅 Kidonanzoinmae ECI – Kidonanzoinmae Station
  • 南蔵院 Nanzoin – Temple Nanzoin
  • 福北ゆたか線 Fukuhoku Yutaka Sen – Fukuhoku Yutaka line
  • 篠栗線 Sasaguri Sen – Sasaguri Line

Source Images:

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