If you are into big Buddha statues, you can find one in Tokyo at Tennoji Temple. While it is not as big as Kamakura’s, it is still quite impressive. It is another lesser-known historical site on the Yamanote line. And with the beautiful Yanaka Cemetery is next to it, it is worth a visit.
Inside the temple walls are some benches in a lovely garden. You can sit down and reflect upon life in a Zen fashion or read a book as many do. And while you do, you can look at the statue which will be just in front of you, nestled in the trees.
There is one problem photographing the Buddha. It is in a corner against the trees. A pity its creators hadn’t thought of the future. They should have placed it more to the right, in front of the temple.
Still, it is a fabulous statue. Like many of this type, the level of detail is incredible. You can see the mustache, knuckles on the hands, and folds in the clothes.
A brief history of the Tennoji Big Buddha
1690 – created by Kyuemon Ota. At that time, the statue was to the temple’s right, near the present remains of the five-story pagoda.
1874 – the statue was moved to the western corner of Yanaka Cemetery.
1933 – it was moved to this site and placed upon a concrete pedestal
1993 – Taito Ward registered it as a tangible cultural asset.
Where is the Big Buddha?
It is between Nippori Station and Yanaka Cemetery. I doubt you’ll have trouble finding it. Here is a Google map for you:
If you ever take a walk around the Yamanote line, as many people do, drop into Tennoji. You’ll be able to take a nice break and get some pictures of a big Buddha without having to travel far! And if you are looking for more of these big statues make sure you check out Tokyo Daibutsu. Please feel free and leave any questions or comments down below.