The goddess of mercy, also known as Kannon, is an iconic figure in Japanese culture and religion. One of the most impressive representations of Kannon can be found at the Daihonzan Naritasan Kurume Temple, located just outside the center of Kurume City in Fukuoka Prefecture. This magnificent temple is home to a 62-meter-tall statue of Kannon, which can be seen from miles around due to its towering height and shimmering white appearance.
To reach the temple, visitors can take a bus from Nishitetsu Kurume Station and get off at the Kamitsu Machi bus stop, a journey that takes approximately 15 minutes. Alternatively, if you are coming from Fukuoka, you can take the Nishitetsu Line from Nishitetsu-Fukuoka (Tenjin) Station to Nishitetsu Kurume Station.
The Daihonzan Naritasan Kurume Temple is an offshoot of the famous Daihonzan Naritasan Shinshoji Temple in Chiba Prefecture. The Kurume Temple invested approximately 2 billion yen to build the impressive statue of Kannon, who is depicted cradling a baby in her reinforced concrete arms. This depiction showcases the compassionate and nurturing nature of the goddess of mercy.
Inside the statue of Kannon, visitors can find a spiral staircase that allows them to climb up and enjoy panoramic views of southern Fukuoka Prefecture through the open windows. This unique feature provides a breathtaking experience and a chance to appreciate the beauty of the surrounding area from a different perspective.
Beneath the statue of Kannon, the temple houses the Hell and Paradise Museum. This museum features dramatic and graphic recreations of scenes depicting Buddhist heaven and hell. Visitors can explore these exhibits and gain a deeper understanding of the concepts of karma, rebirth, and the cycle of life and death in Buddhist beliefs.
The temple building itself is a masterpiece of Chinese-inspired architecture and decoration. As visitors approach the temple, they are greeted by an 88-step marble staircase that leads up through several gates. The most impressive of these gates is the Jeweled Gate of Good Fortune, which perfectly captures the grandeur and majesty of the temple.
The temple’s architecture and decorations reflect a visible Chinese influence, showcasing the cultural exchange and historical connections between China and japan. The intricate details and vibrant colors of the temple’s interior and exterior make it a visually stunning and culturally significant site to explore.
Visitors to the Daihonzan Naritasan Kurume Temple can also immerse themselves in the rich history and spirituality of the place. The temple has a long and storied past, dating back to its establishment as a branch temple of the renowned Naritasan Shinshoji Temple in Chiba Prefecture. This connection to a prestigious and revered temple adds to the significance and prestige of the Kurume Temple.
As with many tourist attractions, it’s important to note that the information provided may be subject to change due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It’s always a good idea to check for any updates or restrictions before planning your visit to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
In conclusion, the Daihonzan Naritasan Kurume Temple is a must-visit destination for those seeking a glimpse into the rich cultural and religious heritage of Japan. The towering statue of Kannon, the breathtaking views from inside the statue, the thought-provoking exhibits at the Hell and Paradise Museum, and the stunning Chinese-inspired architecture and decorations of the temple all contribute to an unforgettable experience. Whether you are a spiritual seeker, a history enthusiast, or simply a lover of beauty and art, this temple offers something for everyone. So, make sure to include the Daihonzan Naritasan Kurume Temple in your itinerary when visiting Fukuoka Prefecture.
Address And Maps Location:
1386-22 Kamitsu-machi, Kurume-shi, Fukuoka-ken