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Travel Japan: The Chinese Temples of Nagasaki

Located in Western Japan, Nagasaki is well known for the numerous temples and shrines that are located around the city. Among these are three historically significant Chinese temples. If you are planning a vacation in the area, consider visiting these temples and learning more about this fascinating part of Japanese culture. To get you started, descriptions for each of the three temples have been listed below.

Confucian Temple
Located at 10-36 Oura-machi

The Confucian Temple at Nagasaki was built in 1893 and is the only Chinese built Confucian mausoleum outside of China. This brightly colored temple houses the sayings, teachings, and dialogues from Confucius himself – all carefully inscribed onto Taiwanese-imported slabs of marble.

Kofukuji Temple
Located at 4-32 Teramachi

Built in 1620, the Kofukuji Temple was the first Chinese temple built in Japan by the Obaku sect. It was built during a time of Christian prohibition to prove to the Japanese government that the local Chinese residents were indeed Buddhists. Considered an historical landmark, the temple contains many cultural artifacts including the oldest stone bridge in Japan.

Sofukuji Temple
Located at 7-8 Kajiya-machi

Nagasaki's Sofukuji Temple was built in 1629 by the city's Chinese residents from the Fujian Province. Like the temples of Kyoto and Nara, it is known for housing one of the largest numbers of cultural assets in the nation. In all, the temple contains 21 assets. Among these treasures is the largest teak building in Japan, known as the Buddha Hall.

With a rich history of foreign dealings in Nagasaki, it is no wonder that the Chinese decided on this city to build their Confucian, Kofukuji, and Sofukuji temples. All three locations have played a significant role in the city's past and are now wonderful places to experience an important part of Japan's temple culture.

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