“The Great Buddha of Nagoya”- Toganji temple, Motoyama, Aichi.

Toganji is a Buddhist temple located at 5 minutes walking distance from Motoyama subway station Higashiyama or Meijo subway lines.

A climbing gorilla statue on a building at Motoyama

As we got out of the station, we were a bit confused about the way to reach the Toganji temple. With the help of a man who passed by, we found our way from the 5th exit of the subway station. There is a gate similar to all other temples of Japan and hence we entered inside.

There is a beautiful Japanese style garden on both sides of a long pavement leading to the temple. The Chinese style temple painted in golden colours enshrines the sleeping statue of Benzaitensama which is actually the Goddess Saraswathi, the Hindu goddess of music and learning. A festival for honouring the goddess is conducted on every May 7 and 8. There is a wooden block inside this hall. There is a belief that touching it will wash away all the sins. Some statues of Lamaism are also present here.There is a pagoda on the roof of the building. A Shiva Linga and some snake sculptures seen around the temple grounds also shows some relation of this temple with Hinduism. As we were looking around for the giant Buddha statue, there was nothing around us.

We just walked around the area, we saw the head of greenish painted Budha statue. We walked down through the stairs in between the  thick trees. The colour of Toganji Buddha is green with golden touchings at some parts.  There is a graveyard for pets at the right side of a small entrance gate.

Graveyard near the temple

Then we noticed that there is a road through the back side of the statue known as the Yotsuya-dori. It is the easiest way to access the statue. The 10m tall Budha statue with its closed eyes and hands with Dharma-chakra- Pravarthana (“turning the wheel of Dharma “) mudra has a picture of wheel(chakra) in its palm which resembles the Asoka chakra.

The giant Budha statue of Motoyama.

Toganji is not an ordinary Buddhist temple. It has not only the Big Budha but also a grave of the father of a famous samurai commander Nobunaga Oda, a sleeping statue of Lord Saraswathi,  a faith of Shivalinga and lama religious and so on. At the bottom of the statue, there are small statues of some monks around a lotus, elephants, deer etc.

The palm of Budha with Asoka chakra(situated near the Great Budha statue).