Kofukuji Temple

Kofukuji Temple, Japan’s oldest Chinese temple which brings forth the trading city of Nagasaki in the Edo Era to the current day

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Kofukuji is the first Chinese temple to be built in Japan in the international city of Nagasaki which developed as a trading port. Having escaped from damage from the atomic bomb, it is a nationally designated Important Cultural Property which displays its appearance back then to the present day.
Business Hours
Saturday ( 8:0 AM ~ 5:0 PM )
Sunday ( 8:0 AM ~ 5:0 PM )
Weekdays ( 8:0 AM ~ 5:0 PM )
Adult: 300 JPY
Children: 100 JPY
4-32 Teramachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki
(095) 822-1076

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In the early part of the Edo Era (around 1600), Nagasaki had become an international city specializing in trade. There was an overwhelming number of Chinese people among the foreign traders, and it was said that one in six residents were from China. At the time, prohibition against Christianity was strict and there were questions about Christians among the Chinese, so to show that they were Buddhists, many Chinese temples were constructed. Among them, Kofukuji Temple was said to be Japan’s oldest example, and was established in 1620 for the purposes of praying for safety on the high seas and for peace toward the deceased. It is also called “The Red Temple” due to the main gate painted in vermillion. The founder, Ingen, was the first monk from China to become the chief priest of a holy site in Japan, and it’s also known that monks such as Mokusu Nyojo who built the Megane-bashi (Spectacles) Bridge and Itsunen who originated early modern Chinese illustrations were also prominent chief priests there. During the Second World War, although Nagasaki suffered terrible damage from the atomic bomb, the temple was saved from the fires and today the atmosphere from that time still exists today.  The Daiyuden Main Hall is built in the Chinese style with features such as elaborately carved pillars and beams, round Hyoretsu-shiki Kumiko windows, arched Oubaku ceilings and gourd-shaped bottles on the top ridge of the roof(during earthquakes, the bottles would open and water would flow over the main hall to protect it from fire). It’s an unusual construction which differs from Japanese architecture and has been designated as an Important Cultural Property. The Japanese-style “Kane Korou” (Bell Drum Tower) has been rated as the most beautiful in the nation, and there remain cultural assets within the temple such as the “Gyoban” drum in the form of a wooden fish, and a gate built in 1689 for use by Chinese residents to live in one area to prevent smuggling.

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