World’s Oldest Wooden Building? Horyuji & Shin-Yakushiji, Nara Travel in Spring 2016

Date: 28 March 2016

Horyuji

I arrived in Nara the night before and stayed at a guesthouse which is conveniently located within a 5 minute walk to the JR Nara Station. 

The first stop of my 2 days Nara Travel is Horyuji, a world heritage site which is regarded to be one of the oldest temples in Japan. The Horyuji station is just 12 minutes from Nara station, and the exterior of the station itself looked like a temple. 

Horyuji Station

Walking 20 minutes from the station, I finally arrived at Horyuji just about the time it opens – 8 a.m.

Horyuji, founded by Prince Shotoku back in year 607 houses some of the oldest wooden building in the world.

Nandaimon, the Great South Gate

Going through the first gate, Nandaimon, I was at the Western Precinct, the Saiin Garan. The Saiin Garan consists of the Five-Story Pagoda, the Main Hall (Kondo), and the Lecture Hall (Daikodo).

Main Hall on the left and the Pagoda on the right
Lecture Hall

Before heading to the Eastern Precinct (Toin Garan), I entered the Gallery of Temple Treasures, which has a large Buddhist art collection. The Gallery of Temple Treasures was a real plus to this visit.

The main building in Toin Garan, is the Yumedono (Hall of Visions), dedicated to Prince Shotoku.

Yumedono

Shin-Yakushiji

Next stop is Shin-Yakushiji, a temple which now only consists of the main hall (Hondo), whereas other parts of the temple was lost in fire. The Hondo houses a Yakushi Nyorai statue, the Buddha of healing and medicine. The temple is named Shin-Yakushiji (new Yakushiji) because there is already a Yakushiji temple. The Yakushi Nyorai statue is surrounded by the statues of the Twelve Heavenly Generals. 

It seems less popular with tourist and was very quiet.

Hondo
Jizo Hall
Pond in the temple grounds
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Author: Jennifer

Hi! I am Jennifer. I enjoy planning my own travels and love traveling in Japan - for the history, nature, temples, and the food! Read more for travel guides of places I have visited.

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