Sunday, September 2, 2012

Treasure Temple, Kofukuji

Kofukuji temple is in Nara area, 5 minutes walk from Kintetsu Nara station, and 10 minutes walk from JR Nara station.  In this temple, surprisingly, there are more than 100 National treasures and important cultural properties.

First, let's walk to Sarusawa-pond, the back side of the temple.  It is said that the reflection of the five storied pagoda on the pond is the one of the most beautiful scenery. 

Walking around Sarusawa pond, and going up a staircase of 52 steps to the temple. The number 52 shows the levels of ascetic practices in Buddhism.

The five storied pagoda in Kofukuji-temple is 50 meter high, which is second tallest in Japan. This is also a national treasure. 

With the establishment of the capital at Nara in 710, the temple was moved to its present location in a central block of the city. The temple grew rapidly in size and wealth under the patronage of successive emperors and empresses, and members of the powerful Fujiwara clan.  Even though the buildings are burned in fires and reconstructed some times, Kofukuji Temple has 1300 year history.

Nanendo Hall is the biggest octagonal hall in Japan, this was reconstructed in Edo perido.  When you walk more back of the Nanendo hall, you will see a three storied pagoda, which is also a national treasure.

And the place I would you to visit is The Kofukuji National Treasure Hall.  There are various old statues, paintings, books, craftworks and historical documents made during year 700 to 1200.  The most popular one is probably the Asura statue, which is on the admission ticket. 

Since photo taking in this hall is prohibited, please visit the web site and feel the Buddhist art and cultures.


For National Treasure Hall, Adults and university students : JPY600
Open daily all year, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  (in English)

Experience Japan!