Shodoshima Daikannon

Japan Temples: Shodoshima Daikannon

Shodoshima Daikannon 小豆島大観音

Jake Davies

June, 2016

While travelling around Shodoshima, or even on approaching the island by ferry on some routes, you will probably catch glimpses of a huge, white statue protruding up from in between the mountains.

Daikannon Statue, Shodoshima.
Shodoshima Daikannon

It's a Daikannon, or Great Kannon, one of many such monumental statues of the Goddess of Mercy found all over Japan. This one on Shodoshima, the second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea between Okayama and Shikoku, is not the biggest - that’s in Sendai, in the north of Japan, but the Shodoshima Daikannon, 50 meters in height, is certainly among the biggest, and in the opinion of many, it's the most elegant and beautiful.

Daikannon Statue, Shodoshima, Japan.
Shodoshima Daikannon
Daikannon Statue, Shodoshima, Japan.
Miniature Kannon statues, Daikannon Statue, Shodoshima


Shodoshima Daikannon was designed by the famous sculptor of Buddhist statues, Sourin Matsuhisa, and was completed in 1993. The full name is the Daihonzan Shodoshima Daikannon Bushiji Temple, and the base of the statue is a functioning temple.

There are numerous statues inside the various halls inside the temple and also in the grounds, but most spectacular are the corridors lined with shelves filled with hundreds and hundreds of miniature Kannon statues.

The Kannon statues also line the walls of the staircase that leads up inside the statue to the top where there are windows in the chest and back offering expansive views over Shodoshima and the Seto Inland Sea.

Here at the top level is a sacred relic, one of the teeth of the historic Buddha, donated by a temple in Sri Lanka. If you don't want to climb all the way up it's possible to take an elevator.

Daikannon Statue, Shodoshima, Shikoku, Japan.
Daikannon Statue, Shodoshima
Main hall of Nishinotaki Temple, Shodoshima.
View from the Daikannon Statue, Shodoshima

Shodoshima Daikannon
1 Koumagoe, Tonosho, Shozu
Kagawa 761-4153
Tel: 0879 64 6888

Hours: Open from 8am to 5pm 7 days a week.
Admission: 500 yen

Accessible by bus or hire car from Tonosho Port, though it is still a ten minute walk from the entrance up to the temple itself.

Accommodation on Shodoshima

There are a number of accommodation options in Tonosho including the recommended Shodoshima International Hotel, the Resort Hotel Olivean Shodoshima and the Bay Resort Hotel Shodoshima.

Other Temples on Shodoshima

The Amazing Mountain Cave Temples of Shodoshima Part I
The Amazing Mountain Cave Temples of Shodoshima Part II
The Amazing Mountain Cave Temples of Shodoshima Part III

Daikannon Statue, Shodoshima, Shikoku, Japan.
Daikannon Statue, Shodoshima

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