Name in Japanese: 長浜びわこ大仏
Pronunciation: nagahama biwako daibutsu
A short distance south of Nagahama Castle stands a huge statue of Buddha with his back to Lake Biwa. He stands atop a two-storey plinth making the gyan mudra gesture, symbolising wisdom and knowledge. The plinth is actually a building that you can enter, and a staircase takes you to the balconies on two levels.
The Buddha stands in the grounds of Ryōchū-ji Temple. It’s the second big Buddha to stand here. The first was built in 1937 out of concrete. It stood 27 m high and was called Gokoku Amida Nyorai. Due to deterioration of the concrete, it was dismantled in 1992, and the remains were buried in the temple, with a memorial built above the grave.
The current bronze statue was completed in 1994, and a service was held to mark the occasion. It stands 28 m high, one metre higher than its predecessor.
In spring, the plum trees that blossom around the statue are very pretty.
Nagahama Castle stands in the pleasant Hōkōen Park close to Lake Biwa. The small, white castle tower is conspicuous from the road that hews close to the northern end of the lake in Ōmi. Today’s castle
Ōmi has always been an important region for transportation. The Nakasendō is a key ro
Kunitomo in Nagahama is a town long known for its blacksmithing. In 1543, a Portuguese arrived at Tanegashima in Nagasaki on a Chinese ship with a matchlock gun. It was taken to the Shogun, Ashikaga Y