A beautiful and fine example of traditional Japanese style architecture, the Japanese Temple is one of the must-visit Buddhist attractions and Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Darjeeling. The temple is also known as Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple. Both the Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda are almost a10 min-drive from the centre of Darjeeling and located at the hill area of Jalapahar.
The Japanese Temple is a two-storied white building with a large prayer room where the chief priest offers prayers while beating a huge drum (also known as Ho-ko) that reverberates to build up a solemn atmosphere in the entire temple premises. The Japanese Temple was built by the founder Fujii Guruji in1972 in traditional Japanese style. In 1945, he witnessed the tragedy of the atom bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and was a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. Everyday prayers are held from 4:30 am to 6:00 am in the morning and 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the evening. Anyone can join the prayer during this hour whenever you are in the temple and get an opportunity for introspection and feel the divine peace the temple offers. The humming sound of small drumming adds to the solemn atmosphere.
The Peace Pagoda is almost 100 yards close to the Japanese Temple. The four avatars of Buddha is showcased in the Peace Pagoda. Although the foundation stone for the Peace Pagoda was laid in the year 1972 by Nichidastu Fujii, it was opened in 1992. According to the Lotus Sutra, the very appearance of the Peace Pagoda is a personification of Lord Buddha that radiates peace and non-violence. In 1954, the first Peace Pagoda was built in Kumamoto by Fujii Guruji. A panoramic view of the Darjeeling landscape and the Khangchendzonga range can be seen from the top of the Pagoda.