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Giant Buddha Head of Hanibe Caves

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Giant Buddha Head of Hanibe Caves


A giant Buddha head hiding in the trees, and an artelier of Buddha and demon statues housed in a cave 

Komatsu Tourism & Local Products Network


In a rural corner of Komatsu City in Ishikawa Prefecture, a massive Buddha head stands amidst the forests and fields. Despite limited resources, the founder of this site known as Hanibe Caves was determined to complete even just the Buddha head, as an expression of his earnest desire for world peace. The result was a 15-meter head that stuns all in passing as it emerges from among the trees, and captures you in its gaze from right above.  

But behind this Buddha head is where the actual "Hanibe Caves" lies: the remnant of one of many stone quarries once active across Komatsu. This cave now serves as a gallery for the sculptured works of the first and second-generation owners. Crouch through the narrow entrance, and you'll find yourself in a fascinating world where Buddha statues stand alongside oni demons, and other works of international artistic and spiritual influence. All inside the dark winding chambers, left just as it once was as a quarry.  



While the chilly caves are a perfect escape from the summer heat, the grounds also make for magical winter scenery when the Buddha head and the surrounding forest are powdered in white, and in spring one gets the rare sight of a cherry blossom-framed Buddha head.  

Come soak your senses in this one-of-a-kind experience of history, art, nature and spirituality, all at once. 






How to get there


From Komatsu Airport, take the local bus to JR Komatsu Station (about 10 minutes). From Komatsu Station, Hanibe Caves is 20 mins by bus or 15 mins by taxi.


1 Ryumyoji-machi, Komatsu-shi, Ishikawa-ken



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