Horyu-ji is a Buddhist temple in Ikaruga City, Nara Prefecture. It was founded by the then Emperor's son, Prince Regent Shotoku in 607 who was credited with the early promotions of Buddhism in Japan.
Horyuji is a large temple south of Nara which houses the oldest wooden buildings in the world. It was also designated a world heritage site in 1993.
The sprawling grounds of the temple that is over 1km wide, includes no less than 20 gates and buildings which are designated as National Treasures. The area is divided into the Western Temple and the Eastern Temple.
The Western Temple is home to the world's oldest surviving wooden structures: the central gate or the Chumon, the main hall or the Kondo and a five-story pagoda. The central gate is guarded by Japan's two oldest statues of Kongo Rikishi while the main hall houses some of Japan's oldest statues of Buddha which is a rare creation surviving from the Asuka period. It has also has this Lecture Hall (Daikado) wherein visitors can witness the evolution of Japanese Buddha statues from the Heian Period.
The Eastern Temple stands the octagonally-shaped Yumedono (Hall of Dreams) that houses a life-sized statue of Prince Shotoku surrounded by statues of Buddha and various monks.
Between the two temple is the Gallery of Temple Treasures that exhibits a huge art collection that includes statues of Buddha, relics, artwork and paintings.
There is also a separate temple near the Eastern Temple which is the Chuguji Temple that houses Bosatsu-Hanzo, a wooden Buddha statue.
By train, from the JR Nara Station, take the departing Yamatoji Line to Horyuji Station. From there, take a bus ride number 72 to the temple and get off to Horyujimon-mae bus stop.
By bus, from JR or Kintetsu Nara Station, take bus number 97 to Horyuji-mae.
The Horyuji Temple opens at 8:00 to 17:00 and only until 16:30 fom early November to late February. No closing days. The admission fee costs 1500 Yen.
For the Chuguju Temple, it opens 9:00 to 16:30 and until 16:00 from October to late March. No closing days. The admission costs 600 yen and ends 15 minutes before closing time.
Here at Pop Japan, we pride ourselves on being one of the most passionate promoters of our nation. It is our strong belief that Japan has the ability to offer anyone a very fulfilling life.