The Kansai Region Sights

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Toshodai-ji (Toshodai Temple)

Toshodai-ji (Toshodai Temple) Review

The main entrance to Toshodai Temple, which was built in 751, is called the Path of History, since in Nara's imperial days dignitaries and priests trod this route; today it is lined with clay-walled houses, tranquil gardens, and the occasional shop selling crafts.

At the temple's entrance entasis pillars support the Nandai-mon (Great South Gate). Beyond the Nandai-mon is the Kon-do (Main Hall), a superb example of classical Nara architecture. It was restored in 2009. Inside the hall is a lacquer statue of Vairocana Buddha, the same incarnation of Buddha that is enshrined at Todai-ji. The halo surrounding him was originally covered with 1,000 Buddhas; now there are 864. In back of the Kon-do sits the Daiko-do (Lecture Hall), formerly an assembly hall of the Nara Imperial Court, the only remaining example of Nara palace architecture.

Toshodai-ji is a 10-minute walk from the rear gate of Yakushi-ji along the Path of History. From central Nara or Horyu-ji, take Bus 52 or 97 to the stop in front of Toshodai-ji.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 13–46 Gojo-cho, Western Nara, Nara, Nara-ken, 630-8327
  • Phone: 0742/33–7900
  • Cost: ¥600
  • Hours: Daily 8:30–5
  • Location: Western Nara
Updated: 09-20-2013

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