Tochoji Temple is a temple located about 15 minutes on foot from JR Hakata Station. This is the oldest temple that Kukai (also known as Kobodaishi) who came back from Tang in 806 was the first to make in Japan. It seems to have been named “Tochoji” (literally means ‘east long’) so that Esoteric Buddhism is spread to the east for a long time.
The “Fukuoka Daibutsu” (Great Buddha of Fukuoka) in Tochoji Temple boasts the largest size in Japan as a wooden statue. Height is 10.8 meters, weight is 30 tons. There are 5000 small Buddha statues on the wall behind the Great Buddha.
The origin of this temple seems to have been an inn that was used as a place to accommodate the Buddha statues and textbooks that Kukai brought back when he returned to Hakata Port.
The “Fukuoka Daibutsu” that is settled here is Wooden sitting statue of Shaka Nyorai; all made of timber of Japanese cypress. It seems that the statue height is 10.8 meters after the number of human afflictions (it is assumed to be hundred and eight).
This Fukuoka Great Buddha’s pedestal is “Hell, Paradise Tour” and the paintings of “Descent into Hell’” are adorned. You will enter a winding path with pitch dark from the middle and you can see the picture of Paradise as you proceed. It is as dark road as “Is there such a dark world from the daytime?” There is a ring in the middle of the road and you can go to paradise by touching it, so please be careful and proceed.
In 2011, a five-storied pagoda of 26 meters in total cypress production was also built. This is the second tower in Kyushu next to “Five-story pagoda of Rengein Tanjo-ji Temple” in Tamana City, Kumamoto.
In the past, it seems that there is a background that the history of Hakata Gion Yamakasa continued as the priest of Tochoji Temple served as a priest instead, when the priest was absent at Kushida Shrine. For that reason, they are still dedicating Yamakasa by setting “Sacred Road” in front of Tochoji Temple with appreciation even now. It is the characteristic of this temple that not only annual events such as night bells and Setsubun Festival but also various events such as Japanese drums and fashion shows are performed. It is also a temple that is opening the door to general worshipers.
|Address:||Gokushomachi 2-2-4 Fukuoka Hakata-ku, Fukuoka 812-0037 Japan|
|Access:||Fukuoka Municipal Subway Kuko-sen Line “Gion-eki Station” (2 minutes walk)|