Horyu-ji Temple, Nara

Founded by Prince Shotoku in 607 long before Kyoto was capital of Japan, Horyuji is a large temple south of Nara which houses the oldest wooden buildings in the world.

Horyuji temple

View of the pagoda at Horyuji Temple.

Horyuji was one of the Seven Great Temples of Nara, which flourished before the capital was moved to Kyoto at the end of the 8th century.

Horyuji Temple Hondo

Large hall at Horyuji Temple.

The temple's treasure house contains such priceless relics from the Asuka and Nara periods as the Kudara Kannon and the Dream-changing Kannon.

Kudara KannonDream-changing Kannon

Kudara Kannon and Dream-changing Kannon.

In the The Tale of Genji, when Genji finds the young Murasaki in the Northern Hills, a distinguished prelate gives him "a rosary of embellished bo tree seeds, obtained by Prince Shotoku from Kudara" (an ancient Korean kingdom).

Horyuji: Shaka Triad

Tori Busshi's Shaka Triad, cast in the Chinese Northern Wei style.

Horyuji Temple Yumedono Hall

Approach to the Yumedono (Hall of Dreams) at Horyuji Temple.

Horyuji Temple Hall of Dreams

Hexagonal Yumedono (Hall of Dreams) at Horyuji Temple.

Horyuji Temple Pond

Pond at Horyuji Temple.

Horyuji Temple Yakushi Hall

Yakushi Hall at Horyuji Temple.

Horyuji Temple Belfry

Horyuji Temple's belfry.

Horyuji nehan sculpture

The parinirvana (nehan) of Shakyamuni depicted in the pagoda of Horyuji Temple.