Horyuji Temple in Ikaruga-cho town in Nara Prefecture is the temple erected by Prince Shotoku and Emperor Suiko, and is also the headquarters of the Shotoku sect. It is famous as the temple which has the oldest wooden buildings in the world and was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1993. It possesses a large number of cultural assets such as Buddhist statues and Buddhism handicraft made in the Asuka period and Nara period, and it is a sightseeing spot which represents Nara along with Todaiji Temple and Kasugataisha Shrine.
Emperor Yomei, the father of Prince Shotoku, hoped to build Horyuji Temple, which Prince Shotoku and Empress Emiko Suiko built in 607 with his will. Temple buildings were destroyed by fire in about 670, but they were rebuilt immediately afterwards, then the world’s oldest wooden building group was completed around the year 711. This building group is now called the Sai-in.
Around 738, a priest named Gyoshinsozu built the group of temple buildings centered on Yumedono (Hall of Dreams) and Shari-den (reliquary hall) on the site of Ikaruganomiya Palace to mourn Prince Shotoku’s Bodhisattva. This is the current To-in. Ikaruganomiya Palace was the residence of Prince Shotoku, and the To-in took the lead of Prince Shotoku faith for a long time.
Horyuji Temple is the great temple with 125 buildings in the vast precincts of about 190,000 square meters. Of the buildings, there are 17 cases designated as national treasures, and 35 cases designated as important cultural properties. It takes a lot of time to look over the buildings.
Various trees and flowers are planted in the vast precincts of Horyuji Temple, and different beauty for every season can be enjoyed. Among them, the cherry blossom trees near the Todaimo Gaten are popular as places to enjoy flowers in spring and autumn leaves in fall. Also, the combination of the autumn sunset sky and the five-story pagoda is a beauty like a painting, and some visit the temple for this purpose.
|Address:||Horyujisannai 1-1 Ikomagun Ikarugacho, Nara 636-0115 Japan|
|Access:||JR Kansai-honsen Line “Horyuji-eki Station” (20 minutes walk)|
|Price:||1,500 yen (Adult)
75r0 yen (Elementary School Students)