Hon-do (Main Hall): The principal images in the Hon-do of Nanzo-in Temple, which is a branch of Koyasan Temple (the chief temple of the Shingon sect of Buddhism) are Amida Nyorai (Amitabha Tathagata, the Buddha of Limitless Light and Life) and Shaka Nyorai (Gautama Buddha), which is also the first of the 88 sacred places on the Sasaguri Pilgrimage. The Hon-do is the site of events including the Monthly Festival and Kojin Festival as well as supplication rites and memorial services. Amulets, talismans, and cinnabar inkpads are available here. Mantra for Amida Nyorai: “On Ami Ri Tate Isei Kara Un.” Mantra for Shaka Nyorai: “No Uma Kusan Man Dabo Danan Baku.”
Statue of the Reclining Buddha
Statue of the Reclining Buddha: The statue was built in 1995. It has a total length of 41 meters, height of 11 meters, and weight of 300 tons. It is the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha reclining as he enters Nirvana. The interior is also open for viewing. (There is a fee of 500 yen. The statue can be viewed from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
Nyonintensho-do (Hall of Devis): This hall is dedicated to three devi (goddesses) that answer prayers for proficiency in the arts, good fortune, and harmony: Kisshoten (Sri Mahadevi), Benzaiten (Saraswati), and Gigeiten. Men are also permitted to enter.
Taishi-do (Great Teacher’s Hall): This hall has a statue of Kukai, who was given the title of Kobo Daishi (great teacher who spread the Dharma) and founded the Shingon sect of Buddhism. It is a “Hiken Daishi” statue of Kukai sitting while holding a mystic sword (Hiken). Please chant the mantra: “Namu Daishi Henjo Kongo.”
Dai-Fudomyoo (Maha Acalanatha): This statue of the Acalanatha (immovable protector and god of fire) has a sword in its right hand, rope in its left, and a flames leaping up behind. One eye looks upward while the other looks downward, and the mouth is closed, but with one tooth pointing upward and one pointing downward. This depiction symbolizes an all-seeing power. Mantra: “Nou Maku Sanman Daba Zara Dasen Danma Karo Shada Sowa Taya Unta Rata Kanman.”
45th Pilgrimage Site
45th Pilgrimage Site (Inner Sanctuary of Nanzo-in Temple): The principal deity of the inner sanctuary is Fudomyoo (Acalanatha). Nearby are the Holy Water Cave with potable water from a mountain spring and the Heike Crag, where legend has it that samurai from the defeated Taira Clan hid. The Kido Fudo Waterfall beside the building is used for ascetic practice (devotees stand under its flow to strengthen the spirit) and is also the birthplace of the Sasaguri Pilgrimage.
Tunnel of the Seven Gods of Fortune
The tunnel links the Hon-do side and the Reclining Buddha side. Inside it are Hakata-style statues of the Seven Gods of Fortune. The copper-plate pairs of Jizo (Ksitigarbha, a guardian bodhisattva) to the left and right were donated to the temple by pilgrims to commemorate their visits, and are no longer available.
Daikoku-do & Myoken-do
Daikoku-do (Mahakala Hall) and Myoken-do (Sudrsti Hall): Daikoku-do has a statue of Daikoku (Mahakala, the god of wealth in Japan) that was dedicated by Kakujo Hayashi, the 23rd abbot of Nanzo-in Temple, when he won the lottery in 1995. It also offers amulets related to the lottery. Myoken (Sudristi) is a bodhisattva deriving from divinization of the North Star, and is prayed to for good fortune and protection from harm.
Nakamise Street: There are many stores on the street selling confections and foods that are Nanzo-in Temple originals, as well as candles, incense sticks, powdered incense, rosaries, rosary bracelets, statues of beckoning cats (believed to bring good luck), and many other types of items. You can find articles for gifts or offerings here.
Kojin Chaya Restaurant
Kojin Chaya Restaurant: The restaurant serves bowls of udon and soba noodles, set meals, bowls of rice with topping, and other dishes.
Counter at the entrance to the Statue of the Reclining Buddha (hours: 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
You can enter a room containing a relic of the Buddha’s bones. When entering, please request a prayer or service for 500 yen. You can also tread on sand taken from the 88-temple Shikoku pilgrimage route.
JR Kido Nanzoin-mae Station
The station is about 20 minutes away from Hakata Station on the Fukuhoku Yutaka Line (or Sasaguri Line). A store next to the waiting room sells tako-yaki and tai-yaki as well as confections and souvenirs. From the station, it is a walk of about three minutes to the temple entrance and about 10 minutes to the Statue of the Reclining Buddha.