Shohoji Temple (Gifu Daibutsu), Gifu 正法寺, 岐阜
History of Shohoji Temple
Shohoji Temple dates from the early Edo Period in 1638, becoming an Obaku-sect temple in 1692. The exterior of the temple is in the Chinese style.
The statue was completed in 1832 by the 12th head priest Koshu, unfortunately some years after Ichu had passed away in 1815.
The statue's dedication was attended by members of the Owari clan from nearby Nagoya.
The Gifu Daibutsu is the largest dry lacquer statue in Japan.
Shohoji Temple Dimensions
The Buddha at Shohoji Temple is over 13m tall and is built around a 1.8m circumference central pillar made from gingko wood.
The frame is also constructed of wood with the body woven together with bamboo in a construction technique resembling a basket, hence the image's nickname of the "Basket Buddha." This frame was then coated with clay and covered with various Buddhist sutras written on Japanese washi paper.
The surface was then hardened with a coat of lacquer and gilded with gold leaf.
In front of the Daibutsu is another statue of Amida Nyorai, the celestial Buddha of Limitless Light.
Shohoji Temple Access
Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture
Tel: 058 264 2760
Hours: April to October 9am to 6pm; November to March 9am to 5pm
Admission to Shohoji Temple is 200 yen for adults and 100 yen for children.
Shohoji Temple is located north east of JR Gifu Station. Take a bus from JR Gifu Station or Meitetsu Gifu Station and alight at the Gifukoen Rekishihakubutsukan-mae stop. The bus fare is 210 yen for adults; 100 yen for children.
Shohoji Temple is across the road from Gifu Park at the foot of Mt. Kinka and Gifu Castle. The museums Nawa Insect Museum, Kato Eizo-Toichi Memorial Art Museum and Gifu City Museum of History are all very close.
The museum is also around the corner from Jozaiji Temple and not far from Myoshoji Temple, where the haiku poet Basho once stayed. Visitors here can see a number of the great man's poems as well as the room where he lodged.
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