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Rakanji Temple

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Rakanji, located halfway up Mt. Rakan, is a temple with the foundations laid by the Indian monk, Hodo Sennin in 645 after he completed his ascetic training in a cave on this rocky mountain. It is one of the three major Gohyaku Rakan" ("five hundred disciples of Buddha") in Japan. Both the temple gate and main hall are built as if they have been buried in the rock face. It is said that there are more than 3,000 stone Buddhas, including the five hundred Rakan statues. The stone statues carry smiling faces, angry faces, crying faces, troubled faces, and even sulky faces, and it is said that one will definitely be able to find the faces of one's family or acquaintances among them.
The entrance to the rocky cave is cramped and narrow, and a "shamoji" ("rice ladle") is nailed to the entrance. Various wishes have been written on it; this is known as "negai wo sukuu" or "scooping up wishes," and resembles the votive picture of a horse that we often see in shrines.

Street address

Atoda, Honyabakeimachi, Nakatsu City


  • Approximately 40 minutes by bus from JR Nakatsu Station
    20 minutes on foot from Nakajima bus stop

Opening Hours

Opening hours: 9:00 - 17:00 (8:30~17:00 in October and November)
Subjected to changes based on adverse weather conditions and other factors


Open throughout the year


Best season



○Free parking available

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