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Giant temple in mountains of Japan is also one of its most impressive tapioca bubble tea cafes

Japan’s countryside continues to surprise us. Now, we’ve uncovered a giant – and we mean giant – temple in the Japanese countryside. Bukkosan Hosuiji Temple stands just a few minutes’ drive from the hot springs town of Ikaho Onsen in rural Gunma Prefecture.

▼ This happy sign welcomes you to the sprawling temple grounds.

Bukkosan Hosuiji Temple acts as the Japanese headquarters of the Bukkosan Buddhist sect and was only just completed in 2018. When our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma went to see what all the hubbub was, he found the grounds to be so huge that it was impossible to capture in a single camera frame. And they’ve got bubble tea (more on that later).

▼ He was able to capture this shiny, happy Buddha, though.

The vastness of even the stairs – which could easily fit 15 people across – reminded Masanuki of a movie set. But on the long path up to the main temple, there were interesting statues with friendly faces to keep him entertained.

▼ Think of them as very still cheerleaders encouraging you to get to the top.

When he got to the top of the stairs, he turned around and saw an amazing view of Gunma’s sprawling and mountainous countryside.

▼ If this doesn’t refresh you, then we don’t know what will.

Masanuki turned around to face the main temple and was stunned once more. If we hadn’t told you he’s in rural Japan, you might have thought that you were smack dab in the middle of a Taiwanese Buddhist temple.

▼ The architecture, the shape of the roof…is this really Gunma?

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