Jade Buddha Temple (Yufo Si) is a working Buddhist monastery—one of the few in China. The star attractions of the Jade Buddha Temple are two figures brought to Shanghai from Singapore by a monk from Burma in the 19th century: a 6.5-foot (2-meter) seated jade Buddha encrusted with semiprecious stones and a smaller white jade reclining Buddha.
While fairly new by Chinese standards—it was completed in 1918—the Jade Buddha Temple remains one of the city’s most popular attractions thanks to the jade Buddha statues within. Just about every Shanghai sightseeing tour stops at the temple, along with other popular points of interest, such as the Bund, Yu Garden, the French Concession, and the Shanghai Museum, depending on the option chosen. Shanghai’s hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus also stops at the temple.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The temple is a must-see for first-time visitors and those interested in Chinese religion.
- Leave yourself about an hour to enjoy the temple grounds, a bit more if you plan to eat at the on-site vegetarian restaurant.
- The temple charges separate entrance fees for the temple itself and for the hall where the sitting Buddha is housed.
- Shanghai tours that visit the Jade Buddha Temple often last about eight hours.
- Photography is not permitted within the Jade Buddha Chamber.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get to the temple is to take the Shanghai Metro (Line 13) to Jiangning Road Station and leave through exit 4. From there it’s about a 5-minute walk to the temple along Anyuan Road.
When to Get There
Since the temple is a popular stop on guided tours, those visiting independently should arrive first thing in the morning when the temple opens. Avoid visiting during the Lunar New Year when tens of thousands of Chinese Buddhists come to pray for prosperity.
Halls of the Jade Buddha Temple
The temple is divided into several different sections, the most notable being the Jade Buddha Chamber and Reclining Buddha Hall where the two famous statues are housed. Before you get there, you’ll pass through the Hall of Heavenly Kings, where four statues look toward the four cardinal points, and the Grand Hall with its copper-colored statue of Guanyin. The Grand Hall leads to a quiet courtyard, where stairs lead to the jade Buddha chambers.