Culture

This Month, Japan’s Sacred Buddha Will Be Revealed For The First Time In 33 Years

Japan’s social calendar is full of festivals and cultural events, allowing locals and travellers alike to celebrate the country’s rich history and ancient traditions. But one scheduled for later this month is set to draw massive crowds, given it’s 33 years in the making.

It’s all going down at Kinosaki, a small town in Japan’s Hyōgo Prefecture – 2.5 hours southwest of Kyoto. The town – famous for having the country’s best onsens – exists along a willow-lined river and boasts stunning mountain surrounds, attracting travellers from all over the globe.

And, this year, on Monday, April 23, a very special event is set to take place. A hidden, 11-headed, 2m-tall Buddha statue will be unveiled to the public for the first time in 33 long years.

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The statue, named Juichimen Kanzeon Bosatsu (meaning “11-faced goddess of compassion and mercy”) is considered a national treasure, and is only revealed in its entirety every 33 years.

The Buddha is located in Onsenji temple, which dates back to 738 AD, and the reveal takes place at the summit of Mount Taishi by Kinosaki Ropeway.

During the reveal — which takes place on April 23 — three surrounding onsens will be free to the public, meaning you can relax in the warm hot springs while witnessing a cultural marvel more than three decades in the making.

How To Get There

  • Fly into Osaka International Airport
  • Take the Itami-Airport Limousine Bus リムジンバス towards JR Namba to Namba
  • Walk 600m
  • Osenji Temple, 985-2 Kinosakicho Yushima, Toyooka, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan

(Lead image: Steve Brown / Flickr)