Before leaving for Beppu, we visited Tochoji and Shofukuji.
The Tochoji temple features a large wooden buddha (said to be the largest wooden buddha in Japan) which was erected in 1996. Personally I think the statue gives off a “I am so much better than you” feeling, which I really do not like. The statue’s robe is accentuated with gold along the creases and golden patterns are painted over it. Unfortunately the patterns take away a lot from the 3D impression of the robe.
Under the buddha is a tunnel, in which paintings of buddhist hell are displayed. After seeing eight paintings of demons torturing humans, one walks through a pitch black corridor to see an image of buddha.
As we didn’t like this temple too much, we went on to visit Japan’s first ever Zen temple. On the compound are several temples which are in most cases not open to the public. So for the most time, this visit was more like strolling through a park.
After arriving in Beppu we enjoyed out Onsen hotel for three days. We didn’t do much, except for regular bathing in our private outdoor bath and enjoying lavish delicious meals. On our last day in Beppu we visited two of Beppu’s hells (very hot springs, not for bathing).