Japan Temples: Takaoka Daibutsu, Takaoka Great Buddha
Takaoka Daibutsu 高岡大仏
The Takaoka Daibutsu, located in Takaoka in Toyama Prefecture, west of Toyama city, is claimed as "one of the three great Buddha statues of Japan" along with the Daibutsu in Todaiji Temple in Nara and the 13m-tall Great Buddha statue in Kamakura.
History of Takaoka Daibutsu
This comparison, however, is rather fanciful, as the Takaoka Daibutsu has neither the historical importance nor artistic magnificence of the other two statues and other Daibutsu in Japan could also lay a claim to being the "number three" best statue.
The Takaoka Daibutsu is not without its merits, though. It rises to a height of 15.85 meters (including the base) and weighs 65 tons. It was built using traditional copperware techniques, which are a feature of the Takaoka area, which is a major producer of copper bells and other copper ornaments for temples around Japan.
The Takaoka Daibutsu was completed in 1933 after nearly three decades of work. The original statue had been made in wood and gilded with gold leaf in 1745 but had burnt down on a number of occasions and then subsequently rebuilt. It is thought that an earlier image of the Buddha rising to about 5 meters had stood on the site since the 13th century.
The wooden head of the previous statue is enshrined within the modern statue which can be entered at the base. Buddhist paintings line the walls of this circular pathway within the statue.
Access - how to get to Takaoka Daibutsu, Takaoka
11-29 Otemachi, Takaoka City
Toyama Prefecture, 933-0039
Tel: 0766 23 9156
Takaoka Daibutsu is a 10-15 minute walk from Takaoka Station and close to Takaoka Kojo Park and the Takaoka Municipal Museum. Alternatively, take a Man-yo-sen Tram from Takaoka Station to the Sakashitamachi stop.
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