Kumano Magaibutsu

Top choice in Kyūshū

Deep in a forest along a mossy riverbed are two Heian-period Buddha images carved into a cliff: a 6m figure of the Dainichi Buddha and an 8m figure of Fudō-Myō-o. Known as Kumano Magaibutsu, these are the largest Buddhist images of this type in Japan, reached via stone stairs said to have been built overnight by an ogre. If you thought the few hundred steps to the carvings were tough, wait until the next few hundred to the shrine at the top.

The entrance to the carvings is around 2km south of Maki Ōdō Hall.

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