4 Magnificent Buddha Statues of Aichi
The religion Buddhism has deep roots in Japanese culture beginning thousands of years ago. Present day, Japan is now the home of some of the most famous Buddha statues in the world. In Japanese, they are called "Daibutsu" meaning giant or grand Buddha. Aichi prefecture has some magnificent Daibutsu's which are less known to people but worth visiting.
1. Toganji Temple
This is famously known as the Nagoya Daibutsu and is a one-of-a-kind because of its vivid green color Buddha. The temple is located amidst a small forest and a visit during the autumn season when the Temple is surrounded by various orange, yellow, and brown colors makes it even more colorful. A short visit to this temple assures peace of mind.
The temple dates back to the 16th century when it was built by the warlord Oda Nobuyuki (1536-1557) in memory of his father, Oda Nobuhide (1510-1551), the head of the Owari Clan which ruled the region.
Another highlight of Toganji Temple is its Shiva-Lingam and a shrine dedicated to the Goddess Saraswati. One can find lots of similarities to Hindu culture. Even though the temple ground is small, there are many interesting things to observe, so do not miss a chance to visit this temple when around Nagoya.
Address: 2-16 Yotsuya-dori, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya
Access: Toganji Temple is a short distance south from Motoyama Station on the Meijo and Higashiyama lines of the Nagoya subway. Turn left from exit 6 on the subway station and walk 300 meters to find the entrance of the Temple.
2. Kōshō-ji Temple
Kosho-ji was founded by the monk Tenzui in the 17th century is yet another famous Buddha temple in Nagoya. This temple should not be confused with the temples in Kyoto or Uji. The Buddha statue is visible even from the entrance and behind the statue is a tall 5 storied wooden pagoda.
Next to the main hall is the more recent Fumon Garden, which was created from a bamboo grove and includes modern water features and a raked stone garden. The entrance fee for the garden is 500 yen which includes a Japanese sweet and a cup of Japanese tea, as well as a tour of the garden and the 300-year-old Kanchin tea house.
The annual "1,000-Lantern Festival" at the harvest moon takes places at Kōshō-ji. Small, popular flea-markets take place on the 5th and 13th of every month.
Address: Yagoto-hon-machi 78, Shōwa-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi
Access: Kosho-ji is located on Route 153 very near to Exit 1 of Yagoto Station on the Meijo and Tsurumai lines of the Nagoya subway.
3. Shurakuen Buddha
The Shurakuen Buddha was constructed to commemorate the marriage of Emperor Showa. Of all the 3 Buddhas mentioned previously this one is the tallest and most elegant. Also the temple ground is very large with many other facilities like a swimming pool, play area for kids, and great spot to have a barbecue.
Address: 2-1 Nishi-hazama, Arao-machi, Tokai-City, Aichi
Access: From Nagoya Station, take the Meitestu Tokoname Line. Get off at Shurakuen Station and walk 5 minutes. 10 minutes from the Isewangan Expressway Tokai I.C.
4. Hotei Buddha
This Buddhist statue in Konan City has a rather commanding presence. It stands at 18 meters tall (59 feet) and it's stare has a rather grandfatherly look to it. Hotei is actually a privately owned Buddha, erected in 1954 by a successful businessman. Today locals view it as a healing Buddha that heals the sick and guides visitors on the path to enlightenment. The best time to visit this statue is in spring when the cherry blossoms have bloomed.
Address: 135, Kigachodaimon, Konan-City, Aichi
Access: From Nagoya Station, on the Meitetsu Inuyama Line. 15 minute walk from Hotei Station.