Japanese Peace Pagoda Unawatuna

In Unawatuna there exists a Japanese peace Pagoda in an amazing location. Perched atop a hill overlooking Unawatuna beach on one side, and Galle fort on the other, this is one of my favorite places to go in southern Sri Lanka.

Japanese Peace Pagoda

The Japanese peace Pagoda was built in 2004 by Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist monks. In fact, this sect has built 80 temples all over the world, always in countries at war. Back in 2004 Sri Lanka was in the midst of a civil war that was ravaging the nation.

There is no fee to enter the grounds (which is strange in Sri Lanka as people try to charge for everything) but you can leave donations if you want. The temple itself is white, and belted with Buddhist flags. You can walk around the entire place in just a minute and admire the panoramic view of Galle fort from the side opposite the entrance.

How To Get To The Japanese Peace Pagoda In Unawatuna

From Unawatuna town it is about a 30 minute walk, which can be tiring as much of it is uphill. Not to mention the usual heat and humidity of the region.

Japanese Peace Pagoda

On the other hand, a TukTuk costs just 500 rupees (or less if you feel like haggling) and takes about 5-10 minutes depending on traffic. TukTuk are the primary method of getting around Unawatuna so you can easily flag one down on the street.

Japanese Peace Pagoda

I highly recommend that when you are ready to leave the Japanese Peace Pagoda, you head down the trail to Jungle Beach and enjoy a nice relaxing swim. While the beach has been getting more touristy in recent years, it is still far less commercial then Unawatuna beach. There is just one drinks stand and no sun lounger rentals. Perfect for some iconic picture taking.

Key Information

Cost: Free; donation box is available

Dress Code: Out of respect the shoulders and knees of both genders should be covered. Shoes must be removed before entering the temple.

Religion: Buddhist

Location: Jungle beach rd., Unawatuna

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