Tourist spot in Oita Prefecture

Rakanji temple [羅漢寺]

Sanmon and Murokutsu of Rakanji
Sanmon & Murokutsu of Rakanji

Hondo of Rakanji
Hondo of Rakanji
Photo: Oita Prefectural Tourism Association

Rakanji is a temple of Soto sect of Zen Buddhism.

It is located in the mountains about 3 km south of Ao-no-Dômon in Yabakei gorge.

According to legend, this temple was founded by priest Hôdô from India in 645.

Around 1338, Japanese priest Engan enshrined many Buddha statues, then a Chinese priest enshrined more Buddha statued there in 1339.
It is said that that was the substantial foundation of the temple.

Niomon gate is at the foot of the mountain.
Then, the worshipper climbs a steep approach for about 200 meters.

There is Sanmon gate, and Hondo (Main temple) is near the gate.
These are by the steep rocky cliff and some buildings are in the cave.
The landscape is wild.

Hondo was destroyed by fire in 1943, then it was rebuilt in 1969.

Gohyaku Rakan in Murokutsu
Gohyaku Rakan in Murokutsu
Photo: Oita Prefectural Tourism Association

Statues with various expressions in Gohyaku Rakan
Statues with various expressions
Photo: Oita Prefectural Tourism Association

The most attractive place is Murokutsu cave (無漏窟) near Sanmon gate.

There are 451 stone Buddha statues in the cave.
It is called Gohyaku Rakan (五百羅漢) and they were created by the priests of the founder in 1339.

In addition, various stone Buddha statues are around Sanmon and Hondo.
The total number of the statues is about 3,770.
These are designated as national important cultural properties.

A stone statue in Rakanji
A stone statue in Rakanji

Lift to Rakanji
Lift to Rakanji

From the foot of the mountain, a lift is set up a little way off the approach.
We can go near Sanmon directly.

How to get here

By route bus, 3 minutes from Ao-no-Domon to Nakashima bus stop.
From Nakashima stop, about 1.7 km walk to the foot of Rakanji.

Between Nakashima and Rakanji, community route bus is operated a few times a day only on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

From Beppu and Nakatsu stations, the regular tour bus for Yabakei is operated.
It visits Rakanji.

1-day sightseeing bus of Oita-Kotsu

Other Tourist Attractions in Oita Prefecture

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