Rokuya Daibutsu, A Bigger One Than Kamakura’s Giant Buddaha

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One of the most famous large Buddha statue in Japan, Kamakura Daibutsu is 11meters tall, but there is a taller one, 12meters tall, at Hokoji Temple in Hinode-machi, Nishitama-gun, Tokyo.

Its name is “Rokuya Daibutsu.” It was named after Rokuya-san, the hill where the statue was built, located in the rear of Hokoji Temple.

The Buddha statue itself is 12meters tall and it reaches up to 18meters when the pedestal is included.

 

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At the back hill of Hokoji, there is a remained site of hot springs called “Shikanoyu.” It was found by Isen Monsai, a Buddhist priest who opened Hokoji Temple, 400 years ago.

Unfortunately, there is no more hot springs here, but there is a tradition told at this temple explaining why it was called “Shikanoyu.”

One day, a deer was walking in front of the thatched hut back and forth. Monsai looked carefully at the deer and he noticed that its foot was injured. That deer went back and forth the next day, and another next day. Monsai wondered why this deer was coming and going, so he followed the deer one day. The deer was healing its hurt foot by a spring that welled up in the valley at the north side of the thatched hut. In several days, its injury got better, and the deer hopped and ran to somewhere happily. Monsai named this spring “Shikanoyu” and built a big thatched hut outside the temple gate for people who are suffering with injury, so they can bath here. And actually, many people got better, so its reputation was told person to person and a lot of people have visited. It was very popular until Meiji period. Also in 1950, it has been told that many wounded samurais from the battle at Hachioji-jo Castle came to Shikanoyu for a hot-spring cure.

The hot springs has dryed up, but this Shikanoyu was famous as one of “The Seven Hot Springs” of Nishitama at the time. It was effective for injuries and skin diseases and had a very good reputation among people.

Hokoji Temple is a very prestigious temple with a history of over 400 years. When we go up the stairs that have the sixteen arhats lining up along, there is a magnificent temple gate.

The statues of the two Deva kings and the Four Devas at the gate stand with terrifying faces.

 

Going through the temple and walking to the back hill, then we can see a fantastic large Buddha statue enshrining on the hill.

Its face is very kind and big-hearted, a really good one as a large Buddha statue.

 

Access:

Train

JR Itsukaichi Line ” Musashi Hikita” Station

25 min walk

 

JR Ome Line “Fussa” Station

25 min by Bus from the west exit, get off at “Kami Hirai” stop

 

Address

3392 Hirai, Hinodemachi, Nishitamagun, Tokyo

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