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Saidai-ji is believed to be established by the Empress of that time in 764. It was originally a magnificent temple much bigger than it is today. You can see some traces of the prosperity here and there in the temple grounds even today. This temple lost its importance once but the Buddhist monk Eison revived it. Eison would give the poor tea in a big tea cup. The tradition has been handed down till today and unique tea parties to drink green tea in a big tea cup several times a year are held.
- 1-1-5 Saidaiji Shibacho, Nara-shi, Nara
- Contact No.
- 3-min walk from the South gate of Yamato-Saidaiji Station on the Kintetsu line.
- Opening Hours / Holidays
- 8:30-16:30 (Aizendo, Shuhokan open at 9:00)
Open all year round (Shuhokan opens only from Jan 15 to Feb 4, from April 1 to May 31, from Oct 25 to Nov 15)
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 30 minutes
- Admission fee
- Joint ticket for four halls, 1000 yen (when Shuhokan is not open, joint ticket for three halls 800 yen), Main Hall adults 400 yen, high school & junior high school students 350 yen, elementary school students 200 yen, Shuhokan, Aizendo, Shiodo for adults 300 yen each (elementary school students 200 yen)
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Saidai-ji has three halls and the main hall has a rare architectural style which has board and not mud walls. They have a traditional event to keep chanting sutras for three days in autumn. This unique event has been continuing for more than 750 years.
Originally a 45-meter tower stood here, however, today only the foundation remains in front of the main hall. Unfortunately, we cannot see the tower itself now, however, we can guess how magnificent it was by the size of the big columns at the foundation.
Shiodo is a hall which contains the statues of Shitenno, four guardian kings stepping on malicious ogres. They were made at the wish of the then Empress to pray for the happiness of the public. Go and visit these statues that embody the Empress’s kindness.