10 famous Buddha statues in Japan

Buddhism is one of the popular religions in Asia, especially in countries like Thailand, China, Korea and Japan. Buddhism was officially introduced to Japan in 538 AD and has developed brilliantly to this day.

Mar 8, 2023 - 09:50
Mar 8, 2023 - 17:45
10 famous Buddha statues in Japan

The most obvious proof is that the number of Buddhists of the "country of the rising sun" accounts for 34.9% of the population, along with hundreds of temples, large and small ancient temples, bringing their own cultural beauty. Especially the Great Buddha - Daibutsu statues with different shapes, sizes, colors and specific meanings.

1. Great Buddha Nara
One of the most famous and ancient Buddha statues is located at Todaiji temple in Nara Prefecture - the Great Buddha of Nara. This is a giant Tathagata Buddha statue, with a height of nearly 49.1m, considered by the Japanese government as a "national treasure" and a historical site from the ancient Nara period. Experiencing many ups and downs of history, in many periods, the statue has been seriously destroyed, but is still repaired and preserved by the people here to this day. The place where the statue is located is Dong Dai Temple (Daibutsuden) - the largest wooden construction in the world, and also recognized by UNESCO as one of the cultural heritages of humanity. Visitors also do not forget to visit the oldest Nara National Park in this place, to immerse themselves in the natural world and see the gentle and cute deer.

2. Great Buddha Ushiku
The Ushiku Buddha statue was built in 1995, is rated as the tallest statue in Japan and the world - according to the Guinness Book of Records until 2002 with a height of up to 130m, 3 times larger than the statue. The Statue of Liberty in America. The statue is cast in bronze, located in the Ushiku area of Ibaraki prefecture, and surrounded by green lawns, flower gardens, parks, and lively Koi fish ponds, opening an open space for tourists to explore. Discover not only the vast beauty of nature but also the typical cultural space of this place.

The most special thing is that the inside of the Ushiku Buddha statue is divided into 4 floors, acting like a museum. On the 3rd floor, there are about 3300 golden Buddha statues named "The World of Lotus Sanctuary". At the location 85m above the ground, there is also an observatory, helping visitors to zoom in to see the beauty of Ushiku heaven and earth from above, even the Sky Tree tower and Mount Fuji from afar.

3. Great Buddha Kamakura
An icon of the old town of Kanagawa and dubbed the "national treasure" of Japan - the Great Buddha of Kamakura, also known as the 'humpback' Buddha, is one of the three largest Buddha statues in Japan. Ban with a height of up to 13.35m and a weight of up to 121 tons. Built in 1252, but due to the effects of natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes, the statue has been damaged and destroyed many times. In 1238, the Kamakura Buddha was rebuilt in green bronze and designed with high earthquake resistance and heat resistance. For only 20 yen per person, visitors can visit and see firsthand the structure inside this famous Buddha statue.

4. Great Buddha Takaoka
Takaoka is a sitting Amitabha Buddha statue, located at Daibutsu-ji Temple in Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture. In 1211, the main material of this Buddha statue was originally wood, but after experiencing 2 fires, it was cast bronze to increase its durability and heat resistance if similar situations happened. go out. This is considered a masterpiece made over 30 years with a height of 16m and a weight of 65 tons. The lotus platform below the Buddha statue is made of concrete and exquisitely crafted, inside there are corridors, leading to the display of wooden statues that were burned down in 1990 - the predecessor of the Takaoka Buddha and many many works and pictures depict life in heaven and hell.

5. The horizontal Buddha statue at Nanzoin temple
In addition to the natural scenery and fame as a sacred place in Fukuoka, Nanzoin Temple is also an attraction because of the largest bronze "reclining" Buddha statue in the world. Built in 1995, the statue named Nehanzou or Sakane Hanzou is 11m high, 41m long and weighs more than 300 tons. Nehanzou depicts the Buddha in the state of nirvana - the state when the body or mind is still present but free of afflictions or worries. There are 5 ropes on the hand of the Buddha image for visitors to grasp, this means that everyone can connect with the Buddha while he is reaching nirvana, as well as absorb the teachings of the Buddha. His profound knowledge of life.

6. Great Buddha Nihonji
The Nihonji Buddha was carved in 1783 and is located on the grounds of the oldest temple in Kyonan town, Nihonji Temple. It is the largest cliff-carved Buddha statue in Japan with a height of 31.5m, twice the size of the Kamakura stone Buddha. The statue depicts a compassionate Buddha, holding a magic potion containing an emerald, capable of curing all diseases. It can be said that the combination of the Buddha statue surrounded by the green of the trees and the blue of the sky has created a magnificent scene, creating a sense of peace and relief when coming here.

To the left of the Buddha are hundreds of smaller, white Jizo statues. Buddha Jizo is a god who is loved and worshiped because he is the protector of children - the country's preschool. Not only that, visitors also have the opportunity to admire 1500 Arhat statues of various sizes and shapes, many of which have been beheaded, unable to keep their shape intact due to the anti-Buddhist movement. Haibutsu Kishaku in 1868-1874, after the Meiji Restoration, many Buddhist sites were attacked and destroyed.

7. Great Buddha Shouwa
Showa Great Buddha is a giant Buddha statue built in 1984 by Ryuukou Oda, located at Seiryu Temple, in Aomori Prefecture. The statue depicts the image of the Tathagata Buddha in a meditating posture on a lotus with his hands clasped together, helping to express a majestic but equally gentle demeanor of the Buddha. The statue has a height of 70m, is the largest sitting Buddha in Japan, taller than the Great Buddha of Nara. Visitors can completely visit the inside of the statue. Do not miss the opportunity to visit this place in August, which is also the time when the Obon festival is taking place and attracts the attention and visits of millions of tourists.

8. Great Buddha Ueno
One of the first great Buddha statues of Japan was built in 1631. The Great Buddha Ueno is located in the Ueno park area, featuring only the head of the statue. Originally, this was a large and complete Buddha statue with full details such as body, body and lotus, but due to earthquakes and wars, the statue was destroyed, while other parts were cast. to make weapons. That is why we now only have the opportunity to see the face of the compassionate Buddha whose height is equivalent to that of an adult.

9. The Great Buddha of Tokyo
Among the top 3 largest Buddha statues in Japan, only after the great statues of Nara and Kamakura, the Tokyo Buddha statue weighs 32 tons, has a height of up to 13 meters including the base. One thing that is unique is that although it is molded in green bronze, the color of the statue is jet black - this is quite rare even in Japan. Built in 1977, the Tokyo Buddha statue is considered a symbol of Jorenji temple, containing the people's wish that natural disasters, epidemics, and wars will no longer happen on this land.

10. Great Buddha Gifu
Gifu Great Buddha statue called "Shaka Nyorai" with a height of 44.7m, located in Gifu district in Shouhou ji temple in Gifu prefecture, is now recognized as an important cultural property of the prefecture. The statue was built in 1828 using special Japanese woods such as ginkgo or bamboo. One of the methods used in the construction of this great statue is called "Mokushin Kanshitsu Zukuri", which means gluing lacquered hemp cloth over the wooden frame, so that the The main color of the statue is yellow, not blue or white like some other Buddha statues.

Injavi 編集部 "InJavi" is a website that provides information for foreigners to enjoy life and visit in Japan more smoothly. This website is easy to use even for first-timers to Japan and those who are not very good at Japanese, and supports multiple languages. 「InJavi」は、外国人が日本の生活や観光をよりスムーズに楽しむための情報を提供するウェブサイトです。 初めて日本を訪れる方や日本語が苦手な方でも使いやすい、多言語対応サイトです。