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Yakushiji was built in 680 by the Emperor at the time in order as part of his prayer for the healing of his ill wife. It is said that the main Buddhist statue, the most important statue in any temple, is said to heal illness and suffering. Some of the characteristic features of this temple are the building that houses the main Buddhist statue, known as the Kondo, as well two other pagodas known as the Saito (west pagoda) and the Toto (east pagoda). The Toto has been designated as a national treasure. This temple is also renowned as being a place of worship for the Buddhist priest, Sanzo Hoshi (Xuanzang in Chinese), who traveled by foot across China, India, and back, spreading Buddhism as he traveled.
- 457 Nishinokyocho, Nara-shi, Nara
- Contact No.
- Close to Kintetsu Nishinokyo Station
- Opening Hours / Holidays
Open all year round
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 1 hour
- Admission fee
- During periods when the Genjo-Sanzo-in is closed: Adults 800 yen, Junior and High School Students 400 yen, Elementary School Students 200 yen; During periods when the Genjo-Sanzo-in is open for viewing: Adults 1,100 yen, Junior and High School Students 700 yen, Elementary School Students 300 yen
- Other Information
- *Toto will be closed till 2019 due to construction work.
※ 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.
Yakushi Sanzo Statue
The Kondo was constructed as an offering to help those who are ill or suffering. There are three Buddhist statues in this building. The central statue, Yakushi Nyorai, has been designated as a national treasure, along with the pedestal that he is seated on! The statue is said to have a gentle and kind expression.
There are two pagodas in-front of the Kondo. When facing them, the one to your left is the Saito. The pagoda’s most striking features are its vivid colors and energetic design. At the time of its construction, this pagoda was a display of the vivid culture of Heijokyo, the capital during the Nara era. Statues depicting four of the eight stages of the life of Gautama Buddha are enshrined inside this pagoda.
Standing Statue of Buddhist Goddess Kanzeon (National Treasure)
A statue of the principle deity of Toindo, Shokan Zeon Bosatsu (Statue of Kannon) was created around the 7th century. The faint smile that graces this statue’s face is said to be one of the greatest beauties of Japan, and influence from India’s Gupta Empire is evident in the carving from the clothing to the feet.
A short walk to the north of the Kondo will lead visitors to a temple building devoted to the Buddhist priest Sanzo, who is the founder of the Buddhist sect that Yakushiji belongs to. This Buddhist priest traveled on foot across China and India over a period of 17 years. Many people come to pray here. The wall paintings depicting images of Sanzo's travels are also particularly noteworthy.