Japan's Largest Buddha Statue: The Echizen Great Buddha

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Daishizan Seidaiji Temple in Katsuyama is home to the Echizen Great Buddha, the largest in Japan, the tallest five-story pagoda in the country, and a Japanese garden where you can experience the four seasons. This article introduces the many charms of the Echizen Great Buddha.

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The Echizen Great Buddha of Daishizan Seidaiji Temple

The Echizen Great Buddha of Daishizan Seidaiji Temple is a Rinzai sect Myoshinji Temple located in Katsuyama City, Fukui Prefecture.

The grounds of Daishizan Seidaiji Temple cover an area spanning ​​approximately 22 hectares, roughly the size of five Tokyo Domes.
The Echizen Great Buddha found inside was built in 1987, modeled after a seated statue in the People's Republic of China.

The statue is about 17 meters tall, making it the tallest Buddha enshrined in a building in Japan.

It has also become popular on social media, with people saying it looks otherworldly. Recently, many have been visiting the Echizen Great Buddha after seeing it on various social media sites.

Instagram: Echizen_daibutsu


Access to the Echizen Great Buddha

By public transport

Weekdays

Take the Echizen Railway Katsuyama Eiheiji Line from JR Fukui Station and get off at the last stop, Katsuyama Station (approx. 55 minutes).

Take the Katsuyama City Community Bus Heisenji Line and get off at the Echizen Great Buddha (approx. 19 minutes). Alternatively, you can take a taxi for 10 minutes.

Saturdays, Sundays, and Public Holidays

Take the Echizen Railway Katsuyama Eiheiji Line from JR Fukui Station and get off at the last stop, Katsuyama Station (approx. 55 minutes).

Take the city sightseeing bus Dynagon Echizen Great Buddha (about 9 minutes) or take a taxi for 10 minutes.

By private car

From the Hokuriku Expressway or Fukui Kita IC, take the Chubu Jukan Expressway, then take the Katsuyama IC to arrive in about 10 minutes.

By bicycle

Bicycle rentals are available at Echizen Railway Katsuyama Station. Please try them out on a nice day.

Duration: Approximately 20 minutes

E-bike rental plan: 2,500 yen per bike (reservation required)

Echizen Railway Bicycle Rental: Regular bicycle 100 yen per rental/ Electric assist bicycle 500 yen per rental (reservations not accepted)

Book now


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1. The Tallest Buddha in Japan

The Echizen Great Buddha, officially called "Birushana Nyorai," is modeled after the seated statue at Longmen Hosenji Temple in Luoyang, People's Republic of China.

The statue is 17 meters tall, two meters taller than the Great Buddha of Nara! It is the largest Buddha enshrined within a building in Japan.

The two-meter-tall stone base is topped by a three-meter lotus pedestal, giving the statue a total height of 28 meters. Furthermore, the halo on the back measures 23 meters high, creating an impressive and overwhelming scale. Be sure to enjoy this massive statue that will make you look up!

2. Stone Buddha Statues Enshrined on the Wall

The Great Buddha Hall, where the main Buddha statue is located, has 1,281 stone Buddha statues on the walls.
The sight of them lined up to the ceiling makes it a popular photo spot, and visitors say the experience is like wandering into another world.

Try snapping a photo that can only be taken here with the stone Buddha statues in the background.

3. The View Is Amazing! The Tallest Five-Story Pagoda in Japan

Did you know that the five-story pagoda at Daishizan Seidaiji Temple is the tallest in Japan?

The famous five-story pagoda at Toji Temple in Kyoto is about 55 meters tall, making it the tallest wooden building in Japan.
The five-story pagoda at Daishizan Seidaiji Temple is an astounding 75 meters tall, built 20 meters higher than Toji Temple.

There is an elevator inside, so those in wheelchairs or with limited mobility can climb up safely.

The elevator takes you up to the fourth floor. Then you can take the stairs to the top floor on the fifth level.
While the top floor is the fifth, you can still enjoy a great view from the fourth.

*Please note that climbing is not possible during the winter.

4. Japanese Gardens with Beautiful Seasonal Scenery

There is also a Japanese garden on the premises.
The garden is planted with cherry blossoms, maples, ginkgo trees, and other flowers, allowing you to enjoy different scenery as the seasons change.
The recommended season is early April, when the cherry blossoms bloom. Enjoy the contrast of the blossoms in a refined atmosphere.

There are also nishikigoi carp swimming in the vast pond. You can purchase food for the carp at the reception, so be sure to give it a try!

Why not take a stroll through a Japanese garden and spend some relaxing time enjoying the changing seasons?

5. The corridors stretching out to the left and right are photogenic


Once you pass through the Daimon gate, there are corridors on both sides, allowing visitors access to the Great Buddha Hall in the rain or snow without an umbrella. The corridor is comprised of 152 Taiwanese cypress trees, each over 1,500 years old.

Be sure to walk through the imposing Taiwanese cypress pillars towards the main hall.*Please note that green cloth will be laid out in winter to protect the area from snow.

Barrier-Free Access! Those in Wheelchairs Can Also Visit the Great Buddha Hall

The Echizen Great Buddha at Daishizan Seidaiji Temple is also accessible to people with disabilities. Guests with strollers or wheelchairs can safely move around the Great Buddha Hall.

Staff Recommendation! Check out the Limited-Time “Special Viewing of the Sea of ​​Clouds”

Our local staff recommends the "Echizen Great Buddha Sea of ​​Clouds Special Viewing," held from April to November.
A sea of ​​clouds is generated an hour after the gates open and an hour before they close, creating a fantastical space.
Combined with the solemn atmosphere of the Echizen Great Buddha, it creates a mystical sight.

Additionally, visitors can purchase a limited edition "Special Sea of ​​Clouds Goshuin" featuring this sea of ​​clouds design for 500 yen each.Be sure to get this goshuin stamp, which is exclusively offered here.

Detailed information

Special viewing time for the sea of ​​clouds

8:00-9:00/16:00-17:00

Special viewing fee for the sea of ​​clouds

Adults: 1,000 yen, Children: 500 yen *Free for preschool children *Special viewing fees apply only during the above times. Regular viewing fees apply at other times.

Special Unkai Goshuin: 500 yen

Important points

    The event may be canceled in case of bad weather.
    It may also be difficult to see depending on the weather conditions.
    Please note that it may not be possible to visit due to private use.

Visit Echizen Great Buddha at Daishizan Seidaiji Temple When Visiting Katsuyama City!

This article introduced attractions and ways to enjoy the Echizen Great Buddha at Daishizan Seidaiji Temple.
Please come and visit the most popular spot in Fukui Prefecture right now.

Detailed information

Visiting hours

8:00-17:00
Winter 9:00-16:00

Admission fee

Adults 500 yen, Children 300 yen, Preschoolers free

Additional information

Goshuin: 300 yen per stamp, Goshuin book: 1200 yen per book, Original goods, etc.

Written by

Katsuyama City is located in the northeastern part of Fukui Prefecture. The city is located on a river terrace formed along the course of the Kuzuryu River, and is a rural city rich in water and greenery, with commerce and industry based on the local textile industry since the Meiji period, and agriculture and forestry having been thriving since ancient times. Our company is a DMO (tourism region development organization) that works with local communities to develop tourist areas. Katsuyama City is a treasure trove of attractive tourist content, including the Dinosaur Museum and Heisenji Temple! We provide detailed services to customers visiting Katsuyama , such as guided tours that allow many people to experience Katsuyama , the Geo Terminal in the parking lot of the Dinosaur Museum, and the operation of the "Dinosaur Valley Katsuyama" Roadside Station , which opened in June 2020. We are also actively challenging ourselves to create new businesses centered around tourism, aiming to revitalize the town of Katsuyama.

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