Giant Buddha -Vairocana

Today we are going to visit the giant statue of Vairocana Buddha.

This giant statue represent the ultimate Truth, also known as the Dharmakaya Body of Buddha. Buddha of Truth, Buddha of eternal light. Buddha of great sun.(literal translation of the name 大日如来)

Getting there had been made easy with signs pasted at the bus stop.(IN ENGLISH)

Outside Aomori Station, there is a Bus terminal. Go to Bus stop number 3.

Here’s the signage.

Do not board any bus that stops at bus stop 3. Look out for K7

Timing for bus arriving at this bus stop on weekday are as stated in the picture above. Starting at 8:10, 10:22, 11:39, 13:10, 15:13. (This info is as of April 2019)

Cost 560yen for a one way trip. Travel time approximately 50 min one way.

You board the bus from the center door. A machine dispenses a ticket coded with embark info. Don’t loose it.

Your destination is the last stop.

Showa daibutsu bus stop

You pay your fare at the end of your trip. Drop the ticket into the machine beside the bus driver and your fare of 560 yen will be shown on the screen. Drop the exact amount into the cashier machine. That’s it!

If you do not have the exact coin, the machine can also exchange Yen note into coins. Put in 1000yen and the machine will dispense 1000 yen coins in return. Collect the coins and pay your 560 yen. Keep the remainder.

The name of this temple is Seiryuji. I visited during spring and managed to see the sakura tree in full bloom.

After visiting the main prayer hall, there is a door on the left of the hall. It leads to an open corridor with a fantastic view of a pebble garden with pagoda.

Sitting here in the cool spring morning, with light drizzle dancing in the air, rolling fog in the distant…. Priceless tranquility.

Remembering there’s a bus to catch, I cut short my zen indulgence.

By the way, a thermal flask dispenses warm tea for your zen indulgence. Remember, be in the moment.

If possible, drop some money into the donation box outside the temple hall to help keep this place running.

Next, more photo moments on the way to see the giant buddha.

Popularly known as Showa Daibutsu. It has it’s fair share of controversy because enshrined within the Giant statue are memorials dedicated to the soldiers who died during WW2. Since Japan was the aggressor in this part of Asia, some people think that this Giant Buddha is political.

I think there are some misunderstanding.

If we looked at it from the Buddhist perspective.

1. Buddhist only honour the Buddha. We do not worship the deceased.

2. The act of inscribing names of the deceased in relation to the practice of Vairocana Buddha is meant to help the deceased, find peace and move on. May the light of truth dispel the darkness on the road.

In this instance, it represents the compassion of Buddha helping all beings equally.

By focusing on such noble Buddhist principle, the visit to Showa Daibutsu will be meaningful. A time to reflect upon mankind and humanity. Our own 3 mental afflictions also contributes to the worldly chaos.

Entering the statue is optional.

If you are uncomfortable with rows upon rows of memorial plaque, then perhaps you can just focus on taking pictures of this beautiful giant buddha from the outside.

Last but not least, here is the time table of bus returning to Aomori station.

Green is for weekday. Pink is for Sunday and holidays in Japan.

There are luggage storage in Aomori train station if you are not staying the night in Aomori.

You can probably complete touring Seiryu ji within 2 hours. Then head back to Aomori for lunch and visit places like the Neputa Museum etc.

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