Heaven & Hell in Ishikawa

Aug 24th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Travel

It’s cold year round, not hot, in the Hanibe Cave where the “Fushi Jigoku” (Satirical expression of Hell) sit alongside eerily lit statues on a winding path through this natural cave.

Hanibe Cave, Ishikawa, Japan, Hell, Buddhism

Located in the Chubu region of Japan, Ryumyoji Town in Ishikawa Prefecture is home to a paradox of peaceful prayer and images of hell.   The cave enshrines the latter while nearby Hanibe Gankutsu-in, where the stated mission is world peace, enshrines deities and hosts the faithful dedicated to that mission.

Hanibe Cave, Ishikawa, Japan, Hell, Buddhism

From the cave of hell, a short walk will take you to a recumbent statue of Shakyamuni Buddha  lounging peacefully in the more heavenly setting of a nearby park.

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Also in the area you will find glowing bronze head and shoulders of  what will eventually be the largest statue of Buddha in Japan on the grounds of Hanibe Gankutsu-in.

Hanibe Gankutsu-in, Ishikawa, Japan, Largest Buddha Statue in Japan

Heaven or hell?  It’s your choice in Ishikawa’s Ryumyoji Town!

Hanibe Cave

Open: Daily from 8:30AM to 5PM (March-November) &  9AM to 4PM (December-February)

Admission: Adults Y800, Children up to and including high school students Y500

Access: From JR Komatsu station, take the Komatsu bus bound for Nishikarumikai, Hanibe and get off at Hanibe bus stop.  (Hanibe Gankutsu-in access map)

Travel Time From Tokyo: Approximately 4 hours by train

Image Credit:  Flickr, Hanibe Gankutuin Temple(2009.4.25) – 78, Hanibe Gankutuin Temple(2009.4.25) – 69, Hanibe Gankutuin Temple(2009.4.25) – 85 & Hanibe Gankutuin Temple(2009.4.25) – 97

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