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It is the oldest wooden building in existence.

There are a lot of old buildings in the wide grounds of Horyu-ji temple.
Among them, Saiin Garan (Western Precinct) of Horyu-ji Temple is famous as the oldest wooden construction of all existing in the world. 
Therefore, this temple has been designated as the Michelin green guide ★★★(Highest rank) and the World Heritage List as part of the ‘Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area’.

The history of 1400 years…!!

In Japan with many earthquakes, the history of this temple is a miracle.
The old Japanese building is splendid.

So, this time, I introduce the highlights and access method of Horyu-ji Temple.

Contents:

  1. About “Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area”
  2. About Horyu-ji Temple
  3. Highlights of Horyu-ji Temple : Part.1(Western area)
  4. Hghlights of Horyu-ji Temple : Part.2(Center area)
  5. Highlights of Horyu-ji Temple : Part.3(Eastern area)
  6. Goshuin(Stamp of temple) of Horyu-ji Temple
  7. How to get to Horyu-ji Temple

1.About “Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area”

The building group of Horyu-ji Temple and Hokki-ji Temple have been designated as a World Heritage as the ‘Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area’ in 1993.

The building which have been designated as a World Heritage is “47 buildings of Horyu-ji Temple” and “The Three-Story Pagoda of Hokki-ji Temple“.

*Nara has another world heritage group which is called “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”.

2.About Horyu-ji Temple

Hōryū-ji (法隆寺?, lit. Temple of the Flourishing Law) is a Buddhist temple that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, Japan. Its full name is Hōryū Gakumonji (法隆学問寺), or Learning Temple of the Flourishing Law, the complex serving as both a seminary and monastery.
The temple’s pagoda is widely acknowledged to be one of the oldest wooden buildings existing in the world, underscoring Hōryū-ji’s place as one of the most celebrated temples in Japan.[1][2] In 1993, Hōryū-ji was inscribed together with Hokki-ji as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name Buddhist Monuments in the Hōryū-ji Area. The Japanese government lists several of its structures, sculptures and artifacts as National Treasures. A study of its shinbashira, the central wooden column almost suspended inside the in 2001 led to a conclusion about the structure being older than previously thought by a century.
引用(citation):https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C5%8Dry%C5%AB-ji

Open:8:00~17:00(2/22~11/3),8:00~16:30(11/4~2/21)
Admission Fee:1,500 yen(Junior high school student or older),750円(Elementary school student)
Address:1-1, Horyuji Sannai, Ikaruga-cho Ikoma-gun, Nara, 636-0115, Japan
Phone Number:+81-745-75-2555

Horyu-ji Temple is the Sohonzan (Grand Head temple) of the Shotoku sect located at Ikaruga Town, Ikoma County, Nara Prefecture.
And this temple is the temple which was built in 607 year by Prince Shotoku who is a Japanese politician of the Asuka era.
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Therefore, this temple has the history more than 1400 years.
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There are a lot of old buildings in the wide grounds of Horyu-ji.
Among them, Saiin Garan (Western Precinct) of Horyu-ji Temple is famous as the oldest wooden construction of all existing in the world. d(*゚ー゚*)
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An admission fee is 1500 yen.
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In the Ikaruga area, where World Heritage Horyu-ji Temple is located, in addition to Hoki-ji, there are many other old temples that have connection with Prince Shotoku, such as Horin-ji Temple (Ikaruga Town), Chugu-ji Temple, and others.
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3.Highlights of Horyu-ji Temple : Part.1(Western area)

The precincts of Horyu-ji Temple is separated into the three areas of “Western Area“,”Center Area” and “Eastern Area“.

At first, let’s go to the western area.
There is the Saiin Garan (Western Precinct) which is the oldest wooden construction of all existing in the world in this area.

●南大門(国宝):Nandaimon Gate (National Treasure)

This is Nandaimon Gate which was built in 1438 of the Muromachi era.
This is Nandaimon Gate which was built in 1438 of the Muromachi era.
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Let’s enter the precincts of the temple.
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●客殿と唐門(重要文化財):Kyakuden (reception hall) and Karamon gate (Important Cultural Property)

This is Kyakuden (reception hall) and Karamon gate.
The Kyakuden (reception hall) is used as a house of the chief priest of the temple.
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●中門(国宝):Chumon gate (National Treasure)

Chumon gate is under construction now…!! (as of November, 2016)
This construction is scheduled for completion on 2019.

This gate is covered with a curtain now.
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Chumon gate is originally such a figure.
An image which is enshrined in this gate is the Japanese oldest Deva King image.
SONY DSC
引用(citation):https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%B3%95%E9%9A%86%E5%AF%BA

●大講堂(国宝):Dai-kodo Hall (National Treasure)

This is Dai-kodo Hall which was rebuilt in 990 of the Heian era.
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Buddhism study was studied in this building.
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●金堂(国宝):Kondo (Main Hall) (National Treasure)

The building of left side is Kondo (Main Hall).
Kondo (Main Hall) is the oldest building in Horyu-ji Temple.
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Statues of Shakyamuni triads” which is the principal idol of this temple is enshrined in Kondo.
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I can’t believe that this building was built 1400 years ago.
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●五重塔(国宝):Five-storey Pagoda (National Treasure)

The building of right side is Five-storey Pagoda.
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Five-storey Pagoda was built in Asuka era.
This pagoda is the Japanese oldest Five-storey Pagoda.
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This pagoda is the cinerarium of Busshari (remains of Shakamuni-butsu).
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●鐘楼(国宝):Shoro (bell tower) (National Treasure)

This is Shoro (bell tower) which was built in the Heian era.
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●経蔵(国宝):Kyozo (sutra repository) (National Treasure)

This is Kyozo (sutra repository) which was built in the Nara era.
This building is a building storing up the sacred book and a book of the Buddhism.horyuji-23

●西院伽藍回廊(国宝):Corridor of Saiin Garan (National Treasure)

A corridor around Saiin Garan (the Western Precinct) is a building built in the Asuka era.
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三経院・西室(国宝):Sangyoin and Nishimuro (National Treasure)

A building which was built on the west side of “Saiin Garan” is “Sangyoin“.
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This is Nishimuro.
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●西円堂(国宝):Saien-do (National Treasure)

A building which was built on the western hill of the precincts is “Saien-do“.
This building was built in the Kamakura era.
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Seated statue of Yakushi Nyorai” is enshrined in this building.
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The form of this building is octagonal. (○´艸`)
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●聖霊院・東室(国宝):Shoryo-in and Higashimuro (National Treasure)

A building which was built on the east side of “Saiin Garan” is “Shoryo-in“.
This building was built in the Kamakura era, and the image of Prince Shotoku is enshrined in this building.
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We can get the goshuin of Horyu-ji Temple in this building.
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The building in the depths of “Shoryo-in” is “Higashimuro “.
This building was built in the Nara era, and was used as a house of the ordinary priest of the temple.
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●妻室(重要文化財):Tsumamuro (Important Cultural Property)

A building on the right side of “Shoryo-in” is “Tsumamuro“.
This building was built in the Heian era, and also was used as a house of the ordinary priest of the temple.
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4.Highlights of Horyu-ji Temple : Part.2(Center area)

Next, let’s go to the center area.

●綱封蔵(国宝):Kofuzo (National Treasure)

This building is Kofuzo.
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This building was built in the Nara era, and was used as a warehouse of the temples.
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●食堂(国宝)・細殿(重要文化財):Jikido (National Treasure) and Hosodono (Important Cultural Property)

The building of left side is Jikido which was built in the Nara era, and was used as a dining room of the priests.
The building of right side is Hosodono which was built in the Kamakura era.
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●大宝蔵院(百済観音堂):Dai-Hozo-in (Great Treasure Gallery)(Kudara Kannondo)

Dai-Hozo-in is the newest building in Horyu-ji Temple which was built in 1998.
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Treasure of Horyu-ji Temple is kept in this building.
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Famous treasure of Horyu-ji Temple is “Statue of Kudara Kannon” and “Tamamushi-no-Zushi (the “Beetle Shrine”)“.
kudara_kannon_1tamamushinozushi
引用(citation):https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%B3%95%E9%9A%86%E5%AF%BA

●東大門(国宝):Todaimon gate (National Treasure)

This is Todaimon gate which was built in the Nara era.
This gate is an entrance of the east sides of this temple.
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5.Highlights of Horyu-ji Temple : Part.3(Eastern area)

Lastly, let’s go to the eastern area.
There is the Touin Garan (the Eastern Precinct) in this area.

●四脚門(重要文化財):Yotsuashimon gate (four-legged gate) (Important Cultural Property)

This is Yotsuashimon gate (four-legged gate)  which is the entrance of Touin Garan (the Eastern Precinct).
This gate was built in the Kamakura era.
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●鐘楼(国宝):Shoro (bell tower) (National Treasure)

This is Touin Garan’s Shoro (bell tower) which was built in the Kamakura era.
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●夢殿(国宝):Yume-dono (National Treasure)

This is Yume-dono which was built in 739 of the Nara era.
This building was built to hold a memorial service for Prince Shotoku.

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The form of this building is octagonal. (○´艸`)
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Statue of Kuze Kannon which is the Prince Shotoku’s body image is enshrined in this building.
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●礼堂(重要文化財):Rai-do (Important Cultural Property)

A building on the south side of “Touin Garan” is “Rai-do“.
This building was built in 1231 of the Kamakura era, and was used as a entrance of “Touin Garan”.
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●絵殿(重要文化財)・舎利殿(重要文化財):E-dono (Important Cultural Property) and Shari-dono (Important Cultural Property)

This building was built in 1219 of the Kamakura era.
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The building of left side is E-dono and right side is Shari-dono.
Ashes of Buddha was enshrined in “Shari-dono”.
“E-dono” is a building to dedicate a votive tablet.
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●伝法堂(国宝):Denpo-do (National Treasure)

This is Denpo-do which was built in the nara era.
This building was built in the Nara era, and was used as a house of a consort of Emperor.
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●南門(重要文化財):Nan-mon gate (South gate) (Important Cultural Property)

This is Nan-mon gate (South gate) which was built in 1459 of the Muromachi era.
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●東院伽藍回廊(重要文化財):Corridor of Touin Garan (Important Cultural Property)

A corridor around Touin Garan (the Eastern Precinct) is designated as the Important Cultural Property.
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●北室院太子殿(重要文化財):Hokushitsu-in Taishi-den (Important Cultural Property)

A building on the north side of “Touin Garan” is “Hokushitsu-in Taishi-den“.
This building was built in the Muromachi era.
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Amida Sanzon-zo (the image of the Amida Triad) is enshrined in this building.
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6.Goshuin(Stamp of temple) of Horyu-ji Temple

This Temple’s Sumigaki(The words which was written with a sumi(black ink)) is “以和為貴”.
These words are words of constitutional Article 1 that Prince Shotoku established.
The meaning of this words is “It is important that everybody lives peacefully.”.
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7.How to get to Horyu-ji Temple

The nearest station of Horyu-ji Temple is “JR Horyuji station”.

  Timetable and Route Search

■Route Example (From Namba)
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■Route Example (From Osaka)
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■Route Example (From Nara)
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■JR Horyuji Station→Horyu-ji Temple

The method to go to Horyu-ji Temple from Horyuji station is 3 patterns.

■In the case of on foot

It’s about 25 minutes from JR Horyuji station to Horyu-ji Temple on foot.
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■In the case of bus

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There are two types of bus.

1:Nara Kotsu Bus

[Timetable]

Routes/Destination:72/Horyu-ji-mon-mae
Boarding bus stop:JR Horyuji station (South Exit bus stop No.2)
Alighting bus stop:Horyu-ji-mon-mae
Bus fare:190 yen
Time required:About 10 min

2:Ikaruga-cho community bus

[Timetable]

www.town.ikaruga.nara.jp
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http://www.town.ikaruga.nara.jp/cmsfiles/contents/0000000/522/rosennjikoku.pdf
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Routes/Destination:-
Boarding bus stop:JR Horyuji station
Alighting bus stop:Horyu-ji-mae
Bus fare:100 yen
Time required:About 15 min

■In the case of rental bicycles

There is rental bicycles shop in the south exit of JR Horyuji Station.
(Please refer to a map.)

レンタルサイクル&コーヒーショップゲーブル(Rental bicycles & Caffe shop Gable)

Open:7:00~17:00
Rental fee:300 yen/3h, 500 yen/1 day
Regular holiday:January 1 – January 3

How did you like it?

Please try to go to this temple!!

Have a nice trip! XD

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