The Magnificent Ceiling of Enpuku-ji

Lie down in the temple’s main hall and look up to beautiful art.

Date Visited: October 6, 2018

Kannon Station of the Choshi Electric Railway is named after the big Inuma Kannon statue that can be found in Enpuku-ji, a quiet but rather impressive Buddhist temple in the area.

Inuma Kannon Statue at Enpuku-ji
Inuma Kannon Statue at Enpuku-ji

When you enter the premises, the Goddess of Mercy’s statue will come into sight right away, as does the five-story pagoda. Against a calm autumn sky, the temple’s bright red is pleasing to the eyes.

Five-story pagoda, Enpuku-ji, Choshi, Chiba.
Five-story pagoda

It’s Okay to Lie Down?!

Intricate paintings on the ceiling of Enpuku-ji.
Intricate paintings on the ceiling of Enpuku-ji.

One of the things that make Enpuku-ji different from other temples is that the staff actually invites people in to come and take a look inside the main hall. The temple’s ceiling is artfully painted with figures of Kannon from all over Japan on one side, and Buddha icons from the 88 temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage on the other.

Close-up of the ceiling paintings.

On the day I visited the temple, I was told that the best way to take photos of the ceiling was to lie down. I was wearing a dress that day, and a short one at that. The staff went as far as to check whether other people were coming so as to prevent any unsavory accidents (i.e., me flashing my underwear to unwilling people). Luckily, I was alone for a long time so I got to take photos and videos to my heart’s content.

Special Gift for Choshiden Deluxe One-Day Pass Holders

Free omamori for Choshiden deluxe one-day pass holders.
Free omamori for Choshiden deluxe one-day pass holders.

If you’re visiting Enpuku-ji, chances are you’re checking out Choshi’s sightseeing spots. One good way to do this is to visit areas along the Choshi Electric Railway (Choshiden), and for this, I recommend getting the deluxe one-day pass. For a thousand yen (at the time of writing), you can use the pass for as many times as you want within 24 hours, and you get freebies too.

If you present your one-day pass when you visit Enpukuji, you’ll get a free protective charm or omamori. When I got mine, I was instructed to stand in front of the Kannon-statue, hold the omamori in my hands and make a wish. Sadly, what I wished for that day didn’t really come true, but just the idea of making a wish makes my heart flutter.

How to Get to Enpuku-ji

Enpuku-ji (圓福寺、えんぷくじ)
5-minute walk from Kannon Station of the Choshi Electric Railway
Choshi, Chiba
Google Maps URL
Business Hours: 08:00-17:00
Official Website (Japanese Only)


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