The Takaoka Daibutsu Matsuri is a cleaning ritual of the Takaoka Daibutsu (Buddha statue) that started in 1968. In the morning, during the ritual called the Ominugui, monks and other staff members of the facility wrapped in traditional all-white cloth, commence wiping the statue clean of the impurities it had collected the past year, while holding the feeling of daily appreciation in their heart. The most interesting element of this ritual is the timing with which they clean the very top of the statue. A wooden ladder is used on top of the Lotus seat that Buddha rests on. Many people gather to participate, infusing gratitude in each and every stroke of the hand. Though it may lack some flamboyancy, you are sure to feel as if they are wiping your heart and soul clean as well. In the afternoon, a service is held for those who have passed away due to car accidents, and when dusk rolls around, the statue is lit up for the festival, giving it an even more fantasy-like aura.
The Great Buddha of Takaoka is a seated statue of Amidanyorai (a style of statue representing the prayers for a blissful life free from suffering in this life, and a heavenly peace after death) sits inside the temple grounds of the Daibutsuji Temple residing on Mt. Hotokusan. It is one of the three Great Buddha statues of Japan following those in Nara and Kamakura.
With a height reaching 15.85 meters and a weight of 65 tons, this Buddha statue is made from the best techniques that copper cast mold sculpturing has to offer. It took three decades to build, and is loved by the whole region as a symbol of Takaoka City.
After the cleaning ritual is over, the general public is welcome to climb up the platform to give a prayer or to pay respects and appreciation just in front of Buddha's lap.
This seated statue of Amidanyorai is lit up in alternating colors at night.
You may just experience a feeling of spiritual cleansing, as the statue takes on a totally different atmosphere than it did in the day light.
Takaoka City is known as the town of copper casting. Making full use of those special techniques, this cute edible treat is almost too easy-to-like. Take in the Daibutsu experience in a different way and enjoy this Japanese culture with your eyes and with your pallet.
Access to Takaoka City
Daibutsuji Temple on Mt. Hotokusan
11-29 Otemachi, Takaoka City
Approx. 10min walk from the north exit of Takaoka Station, side of the Old Castle Park.
5min walk from Sakashitamachi bus stop on the Manyo Line.
Get off at the Takaoka Daibutsu Mae bus stop on the Takaoka City Community Bus Komichi Blue Route