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Horyu-ji is home to some of the oldest wooden buildings in the world. Just east of Horyu-ji is Chugu-ji, with one of the finest sculptures in Japan, the 7th-century Miroku Bodhisattva. A short bus ride back toward Nara brings you to Yakushi-ji and Toshodai-ji temples, both religious and political centers during the Nara period. To visit all four temples in one day go to Horyu-ji by the
JR Main Line first (Chugu-ji is a 10-minute walk from Horyu-ji) and proceed to Toshodai-ji and Yakushi-ji by bus.
Nara Koen has the city's popular tourist sites. Even so, it is wide enough to accommodate thousands of giggling schoolchildren and other Japanese...