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Nanzoin, Sasaguri-machi

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Historic Site Tourist Spot
Nanzo-in Temple is a Shingon sect Buddhist temple in Sasaguri, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. It notable for its bronze statue of a reclining Buddha, said to be the largest bronze statue in the world.HistoryNanzo-in temple was originally located on Mt. Koyasan, but local anti-Buddhist authorities threatened to destroy the temple in 1886. Public outcry lead to a decade-long effort to have the temple transferred to Sasaguri. It was moved in 1899, under the leadership of Sasaguri priest, Hayashi Satoshiun. Nanzo-in temple is the main location among the 88 temples that make up the Sasaguri pilgrimage route, one of the three famous walking pilgrimages in Japan.Today, the temple and its surrounding grounds receive more than 1 million visitors annually.LotteryA chief priest of Nanzo-in temple once won the lottery after laying his ticket next to a statue of Daikoku. The temple claims that others who have made a similar effort have also won the lottery, bringing the temple associations with luck and lottery tickets.Reclining BuddhaThe reclining Buddha statue, known as either Nehanzo or Shaka Nehan ("Nirvana") is 41 meters long, 11 meters high, and weighs nearly 300 tons. The statue depicts Buddha at the moment of death, or entrance into nirvana.The interior holds ashes of Buddha and two Buddhist adherents, Ananda and Maudgalyayana. Those relics were a gift from Myanmar as thanks for the sect's donations of medical supplies to children in both Nepal and Myanmar. In 1995, 1,300 monks from Myanmar and Nepal attended the unveiling of the reclining Buddha statue.
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  • As luck would have it we met a man on a train on our way to Fukuoka who told us he was going to visit the reclining buddha not far from the city. He said that not many people (in comparison to other b...  more »
  • I had no idea that there were reclining buddhas in Japan. So it was lovely to find this place. Nanzo-in doesn't seem to be mentioned anywhere in any guidebooks...I just stumbled upon it whilst googlin...  more »
  • Surprising that this place is not mentioned more widely in tourist guides, as it is one of the better visits in Fukuoka situated about 45 minutes from Hakata Station: Peaceful scenery, a 41m-long recl...  more »