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Makomanai Takino Cemetery’s "Hill of the Buddha" in Sapporo, Hokkaido

"Introduction to the Hill of the Buddha" (頭大仏の紹介), is a video about the Hill of the Buddha, a symbol of Makomanai Takino Cemetery where you can see the head of the Great Buddha.

At Makomanai Takino Cemetery, you can also see a vast landscape of lavender hills with more than 15 thousand lavenders.
This dramatic Hill of the Buddha, standing at the top of a dome-shaped slope, was designed by Ando Tadao, a famous architect, in 2016 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Makomanai Takino Cemetery.

It is made up of 57 parts, which were selected and processed from 4,000 tons of unpolished stones.
It is 13.5 meters high and weighs 1,500 tons. Initially, it was called “Mitama Kuyo Daibutsu.”
You can see the Great Buddha in its entirety from 0:08 in the video.

The construction of the Hill of the Buddha began in October 2013 and finished in 2016. As you can see from 0:56 in the video, the hardest part of this project was growing the 15 thousand lavenders.
With the advice of lavender farmers and the help of volunteers, they succeeded in growing the lavenders from seed.
It took about three years to build the Hill of the Buddha, and the construction process can be seen from 1:31 in the video.

Makomanai Takino Cemetery's Hill of the Buddha

The Hill of the Buddha at Makomanai Takino Cemetery, Sapporo, Hokkaido, features the Great Buddha poking his head out from the lavender hill.
According to the architect Ando Tadao, the purpose of this is to emphasize the gratitude of the Great Buddha as “that which you cannot see stimulates the imagination.”

As you can see from 4:07 in the video, there is an approach with lavenders when entering Makomanai Takino Cemetery.
There is also a water garden, which is a bypass of the pathway behind the approach.
The water is a boundary to purify mind and to awaken the extraordinary.

After going through the water garden, there is a tunnel that goes through the hill, which is shown at 4:25 in the video.
The tunnel represents the womb and is lined with concrete folds. You can see the Great Buddha as you pass through the tunnel, and the panoramic view of the Buddha, which you can see along the 135-meter walk, is even more impressive.
The light from the sky lights up the Buddha and surrounds you with artistic scenery.

Learn About the Construction Process at the Gallery and Café

Next to the water-basin, there is a gallery where you can see the construction process of the Hill of the Buddha.
Here, you can find out what the famous architect Ando Tadao had in mind when he designed the project.

Across the gallery, lays the “Rotunda Café and Store.”
You can enjoy snacks and tea and buy original merchandise and souvenirs here.
It was opened in 2018 as a rest station, due to the increase of foreign tourists.
Also, there are replicas of Easter Island’s Moai statues, which carry the meaning of “living into the future,” as well as a replica of Stonehenge.

Information About Makomanai Takino Cemetery

Image of The Great Buddha
Photo:The Great Buddha

Access to Makomanai Takino Cemetery in Sapporo City, Hokkaido is 20-30 minutes from Makomanai Station by bus from the Namboku Subway Line.
Times may vary by season, so check out the homepage for more details. If you are driving, you can use the free parking areas in the south and north.
The lots have a capacity of 245 cars, so be sure to check the map if you're planning on driving.
There is a 300 yen (~$3 USD) "lavender maintenance fee" you must pay if you want to see the Hill of the Buddha.
It is open from 7 am to 7 pm during summer, and 7 am to 6 pm during winter.

Enjoy Art at Sapporo's Newest Spiritual Site!

Are you interested in visiting the Hill of the Buddha?
The Hill of the Buddha is a new sightseeing spot in Sapporo, Hokkaido, not only for its powerful atmosphere, but also for its refreshing and beautiful scenery.

If you're thinking about visiting Hokkaido, be sure to stop by!

【Address】2-3 Takino, Minami, Sapporo, Hokkaido 005-0862
【Access】20 to 30 minutes by bus from Metro Namboku Line, Makomanai Station
【Admission Fee】~300 yen lavender maintenance fee
【Hours】 7 am to 7 pm during summer. 7 am to 6 pm during winter
【Phone number】 011-592-1223

【Official Website】Makomanai Takino Cemetery

【Tripadvisor】Makomanai Takino Cemetery

Written By
Last Updated : May. 31, 2021
山本 孝(Takashi Yamamoto)
I've been a writer for seven years. I write articles on travel, food, and history.
Hill of the Buddha - A New Attraction in Sapporo, Hokkaido Designed by a World-Famous Architect. Come Check Out the Buddha as He Pokes His Head Out From a Hill Surrounded by Lavenders!
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