Only once, every 7 years! Zenkoji-temple’s ”Gokaicho”, where you can see a replica of a hidden Buddhist statue starting April 5th this year!


Zenkoji Temple has a history of over 1400 years.

Zenkoji Temple is located in Shinshu, Nagano Prefecture. It enshrines the Amida triad (Zenkoji-shiki Amida Sanzonzo) Zenkoji-style, and has a long history. Since it’s founding, it’s been a place where people have been committing their heart and soul to the Amida triad for over 1400 years. The Amida triad is said to have come from India through the Korean Peninsula at the time of 522 and is the oldest Buddhist statue in Japan.


You can worship a replica of the Amida triad once every 7 years at Gokaicho

The Amida triad displayed in Zenkoji-style, shows the Amida Nyorai in the center, Kannon Bosatsu on the right-hand side, and Seishi Bosatsu on the left-hand side. This is a unique feature of Zenkoji-style, and the statue is hidden so that nobody can see it. However, once every 7 years (more precisely, every 6 years as the year of Gokaicho is counted as the first year) Maedachi honzon, a duplicate of the original is taken out of the treasure house and displayed to the public during the Gokaicho. It lasts 2 months and visitors from all over Japan come to see the vibrant events during the ceremony. The highlight is the ”奉納行列” where people walk the street lead by a bull. It’s been said said that touching the lead rope attached to the bull will it give you fortune. Gokaicho is an event for ordinary people to make a connection with the Amida triad, bringing many fortunes.


The Gokaicho season is from April 5th to May 31st, 2015!

Good news! This is the year of the Gokaicho, which only comes once every 7 years! You can see a replica of the Amida triad from April 5th to May 31st! It’s a rare occasion because it’s usually hidden in the treasure house. Zenkoji-temple has its own catchword, “Visit at least once in your lifetime even if it’s too far. If you pledge to Amida, it will save you.” (遠くとも 一度は詣れ善光寺救い給うぞ 弥陀の誓願) The temple has prospered as a noble temple. You can visit this temple while enjoying the Shinshu’s beautiful scenery in Nagano Prefecture.

■Zenkoji-temple Gokaicho(English)
■Zenkoji-temple Gokaicho(Japanese)
■Zenkoji-temple Gokaicho(Chinese)
■Zenkoji-temple Gokaicho(Korean)


Motoyoshicho-491, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 380-0851

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Writer / Translator

I’m a freelance translator from Tokyo who likes to travel right in the middle of the unpredictables in life. Through the translation of articles I hope to create points of contact between Japan and the rest of the world. As a writer, I want to add information that isn’t in the guide book, from a “wasabi” perspective!



Address Motoyoshicho-491, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 380-0851