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Sofukuji Temple Nagasaki


Built in 1629 by a Chinese monk named Chaonian, Sofukuji temple is one of Nagasaki’s most visited temples. The temple, placed on the slope of a hill, belongs to the Obaku sect of Zen Buddhism and was originally built for the Chinese residents of Nagasaki.


The inner gate called Daiippomon and the Buddha hall called Daiohoden were both made in Ningbo, China and shipped to Nagasaki. They each have become national treasures as they are one of the best illustrations of temple architecture of the Ming Dynasty that have remained anywhere. The Buddha hall is even claimed to be Nagasaki’s oldest building. All buildings including the entrance gate called Ryugumon (gate of the dragon palace) is coloured bright red.


I visited Sofukuji Temple on one of the hottest days of my stay. Because of the heat there was no one else to be found on the temple’s inner grounds. As the temple is built partially on the hill you have to climb some stairs, but large trees will give you the shadow needed. There are English descriptions to be found near most of the buildings that give short but adequate explanations. Even though I was having a hard time not melting away in the sunlight I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the temple. It is very beautiful and definitely worth the trip!


If you have enough time I would recommend walking the entire Teramachi road where you will find many more temples and shrines along the hillside.


If you want to pray at a Buddhist temple please be reminded to not clap, other than that there is no strict procedure you’ll need to be thoughtful of.

 

Access:

Sofukuji Temple is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day of the week. An entrance fee of ¥300 is charged for adults.

If you want to visit Sofukuji temple from Casa Noda, please take tram Line 1 (blue) bound for Shokakuji-shita from Goto-machi and get off at the last stop (Shokakuji-shita).

-Maike

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