Makomanai Takino Cemetery, located on the outskirts of Sapporo City, is a vast greenspace that features a collection of commanding statues—most notably, 40 moai (Easter Island) heads, a Stonehenge replica, and a giant Buddha statue.
Opening hours vary per attraction:
Great Buddha: Apr to Oct 09:00-16:00, Nov to Mar 10:00-15:00
Mausoleum: Apr to Oct 08:30-17:00, Nov to Mar 09:00-15:40
Aside from these main attractions, the cemetery also has a flower market that sells seasonal flowers and a cafe and store with pasta, udon noodles, coffee, and ice cream.
Once you drive through the cemetery’s impressive gates, you are greeted by a procession of Easter Island heads along the road. The straight faced, iconic statues range from 6.5 to 9.5 meters tall and project an atmosphere of respect.
Without a doubt, the cemetery’s most iconic feature is its massive Buddha sculpture, which is located north of the moai heads. The 13.5-meters-tall seated statue sits inside an artificially crafted hill decorated with 150,000 lavender plants. From a distance, you can only view the top of the Buddha’s head peering out from the hill. To see the statue up close, walk through a 40-meter tunnel into the hill’s center. The curved interior of the dome perfectly frames the serenely meditative statue as sunlight from the open top illuminates its face. The statue was designed by world famous architect Tadao Ando.
Further down the road and past the moai heads is a replica of Stonehenge, a World Heritage Site. The site’s instantly recognizable form adds an ancient feeling of spirituality to the cemetery.
From Makomanai Station, take a Tomb San Bus or Makomanai 108 bus to the cemetery (25 mins).
A special event at the Sapporo Art Park Museum centers around Doraemon, the manga and anime series character created by Fujiko F. Fujio back in 1970. The exhibition involves the work of 28 creative minds who were asked to come up with their own art incorporating Doraemon.