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Nara-koen Park (Kofuku-ji Temple and the Sarusawa-no-ike Pond)奈良公園(興福寺・猿沢の池)

Tokon-do, a place to pray for academic achievement. A fantastic view of the five-storied pagoda of Kofuku-ji Temple.

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Tokon-do, a place to pray for academic achievement. A fantastic view of the five-storied pagoda of Kofuku-ji Temple.

Kofuku-ji, located in Nara-koen Park, is a temple built in the early 8th century by the Fujiwara clan, a powerful family of the time. The precincts were expanded as the Fujiwaras became more dominant, and at their peak, it is said to have been 13 times larger than it is today (now 4 square kilometers).

The approximately 50-meter-high five-story pagoda of Kofuku-ji Temple is the second tallest old tower in Japan, after the pagoda of To-ji Temple in Kyoto City. The pagoda is the landmark of the ancient capital, Nara.
 
The pagoda has caught fire six times in the long history since its foundation. The present pagoda is registered as a national treasure and was rebuilt in 1426. The Tokon-do Hall adjoining the pagoda has also been registered as a national treasure, its architecture dating back to the early 15th century. Inside the hall are a bronze statue of Yakushi-nyorai, as well as a sitting statue of Monju-bosatsu, the Buddhist god of wisdom and intellect. Thus, there are numerous visitors who go there to pray for academic achievement. The Kokuho-kan (national treasure hall), which displays a variety of the cultural assets at Kofuku-ji Temple such as the 8th century sculptures, is another place that visitors should not miss.

The Sarusawa-no-ike Pond, located at Kofuku-ji Temple, is where captured fish were released. Surrounded by willow trees, if you walk around the 360-meter promenade circling the pond you will see many carp swimming in the pond and tortoises drying their backs. When you look at Kofuku-ji Temple over the pond, you will also see rich, green trees with the pagoda tower standing behind them, a water fountain in the pond, and an elegant reflection of the pagoda on the surface of the water, said to be one of the best sights in Nara.
 

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Directions

1h 25 min from Kansai Airport to Nara Station by Airport Limousine Bus.

35 min from Namba to Nara Station by Kintetsu Nara Line (regular express).

 

From Osaka:
35 min from Kintetsu Namba to Kintetsu Nara Station by Kintetsu Nara Line (rapid express).

 

From Tokyo:
2h 15 min to Kyoto Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line (Nozomi), and 35 min from Kyoto to Kintetsu Nara Station by Kintetsu Kyoto Line (limited express).

*It takes 2h 45 min from Tokyo to Kyoto Station by Hikari Shinkansen.

 

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