Nanzoin Temple Travel Guide blog

Nanzoin Temple: Travel Guide to Fukuoka Reclining Buddha

posted in: Kyushu Japan | 0

Last updated on February 3rd, 2024

Make a half-day trip with our Nazoin Temple itinerary, showing you the highlights of the historical temple in Sasaguri, Fukuoka.

Nanzoin Temple (南蔵院) is a Shingon Buddhist temple located in Sasaguri, Fukuoka. There’s no shining gold temple waiting for you here. Instead, it’s just an old historical temple calm and serene, surrounded by lush green. It is said to have the world’s biggest bronze statue, a gorgeous 41-meter, 11-meter high reclining Buddha tucked away in the mountaintop. This is what makes the temple so special and why we recommend you to visit it.

We made a trip to Nanzoin temple to see the famously large bronze. The visit to Nanzoin Temple is one of the highlights of our trip to Fukuoka. If you want to see this Fukuoka hidden’s gem, please read this Nazoin Temple Travel Guide Blog.

From Fukuoka to Nanzoin Temple

From Fukuoka to Nanzoin Temple

A short local train ride on the JR Sasaguri Line from bustling Hakata station to Kidonanzoin-mae station will get you to a different world.

The boarding platform at Hakata Station on the platform#8.

Kidonanzoinmae station

The train journey takes about 25 minutes and costs ¥380. Trains are frequent and cheap. If you have a Japan Rail Pass or JR Kyushu Pass, you can take these trains for free.

Driving to the Nanzoin Temple is also simple. Parking can be found right beside the JR station or at the base of the entrance stairs. If you are planning to self-driving, we recommended check your rental car price from RentalCars.com for various companies for best price.

Etiquette when visit Nanzoin Temple

Nanzoin Travel Guide: Note that the Nanzoin Temple is a place of worship. So please be mindful of the temple etiquette which is to keep quiet, dress modestly, cover tattoos, and be respectful.

Visit Nanzoin Temple

Melody Bridge at Sasaguri Town

Nanzoin Temple is located in a relatively small-sized town and you can easily explore the area on foot.

Once we left the station, we started walking in the direction of the temple. We were here in the early afternoon and can say that it’s a pretty good time to visit Nanzoin Temple.

Walk across a quirky Melody Bridge where you can borrow a little mallet from the little shelf to play the music. A fun play!

How To Get to Nanzoin Temple

Continue walking across the main road and then walk for a few minutes to the entrance.

Nanzoin Temple Map

 Nanzoin Temple is pretty huge and many areas to explore.

There are several options on how to explore the Nanzoin. We decided to visit the Buddha first and then devote our time to the temple grounds.

Uphill walkway Leading to the Nanzoin Temple

To get to the Reclining Buddha at Nanzoin Temple, you can follow the clear sights to guide you along the walking journey to the Recling Buddla.

Firstly, walk and climb up a ramp to the hillside. There’s a lush view of the mountainside all around.

Tunnel to Reclining Buddha

Following the sign, we walked through a tunnel decorated with temple offerings, plenty of little shrines, ponds, walking paths, and lastly to the statue’s platform.

The journey is a bit high hill not particularly easily accessible for wheelchairs or those with walking disabilities.

Fukuoka Reclining Buddha

Reclining Buddha at Nanzoin Temple

The Reclining Buddha in Nanzoin Temple is truly impressive. Beautifully smooth and with its color contrasted against a backdrop of the forest and skies!

Reclining Buddha Fukuoka

It’s amazingly huge! The actual dimensions of the Statue are 41 meters long by 11 meters in height and it weighs 300 tons. It’s definitely worth making the trip to see!

In Japan, the most common pose for Buddha statues is sitting, which represents Buddha meditating. The reclining pose, however, represents Buddha about to enter Nirvana.

Fukuoka Reclining Buddha Designed Feet

Don’t miss appreciating Buddha’s intricately designed feet.

Relax at Nanzoin Temple

The site is very relaxing and serene.

Take a moment to sit down and enjoy the views. We also bought a matcha ice cream (around ¥250) from the small kiosk.

Temple Ground

Visit Nanzoin Temple

Next, we then made our way to explore a few other temple grounds that we’d seen along the way. The whole site is free to explore. Entrance is free to see the Buddha as well as to the temple.

What to do and see in Nanzoin Temple

The grounds are absolutely packed with sub-temples, little shrines, monuments, and a couple of souvenir shops. So there’s plenty of other things to see and do.

Expect to spend 1 to 2 hours to stroll around this area.

Note that even though you’re able to take photos of the reclining Buddha, there are quite a few things in the surrounding areas where photos are not permitted.

Overall: A Trip to Nanzoin Temple

All in all, Nanzoin Temple is a lovely place to visit and highly recommended. This lesser-known attraction is easily do a half-day trip from Fukuoka. We enjoyed exploring this sacred and spiritual place.

Overall, we spent around 2 hours in Nanzoin Temple before we hopped on the train back to Fukuoka and continued our trip to Lalaport Fukuoka. This makes for an awesome day trip.

Related Fukuoka Travel blog:

Planning on the Kyushu itinerary? Check out Kyushu Itinerary: Ultimate Travel Guide For Kyushu Trip.