Unzen Manmyoji TempleImage
Unzen Manmyoji TempleImage
Unzen Manmyoji TempleImage
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Unzen History and Gyoki Bodhisattva

Unzen Manmyoji Temple

Nagasaki Unzen
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 Not long after the introduction of Buddhism to Japan, the wandering monk Gyōki came to Unzen and established a Buddhist temple on the mountain in 701. While the temple buildings and the other temples that built later were destroyed when Shimabara became a Christian domain in the late sixteenth century, Manmyōji is in direct lineage of that first temple.
 Inside is a massive 5-meter-tall daibutsu (statue of a buddha). It was completed in 1917 and is coated in five layers of gold leaf. Behind the temple, there are 88 unique statues, meant to represent a miniature version of the 88 Temple Pilgrimage on the island of Shikoku. Farther along, a large statue of Gyōki marks what is supposedly his grave.
 Gyōki lived during the Nara period (710–794) when the imperial capital had been moved to Nara, south of Osaka and Kyoto. In the century and a half since its arrival in Japan, the study of Buddhism had already spread across the country, thanks in part to the evangelism of Gyōki, who often raised funds for the construction of temples, statues, and other Buddhist structures. The temple’s history books claim that Gyōki was instructed to build this temple by the Emperor himself! During its use, as many as 3,000 monks lived in Manmyōji, where they meditated and studied the sutras. With this, Unzen’s reputation as a great center of Buddhist spirituality was secured.


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The Unzen Oyama Information Center

Unzen City, Nagasaki Prefecture  Certification badge

The Unzen Oyama Information Center is a facility that provides a wide range of information about the attractions of Unzen, including natural information, historical introductions, and exhibits on hot springs. We have the latest information to help you enjoy and appreciate Unzen more deeply, so please stop by here when you arrive in Unzen. Let's obtain the necessary information about nature, history, mountain climbing, transportation, and embark on a fun fieldwork. Please be sure to experience and enjoy the deep nature and history of Unzen!

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