Shin-Yakushi-ji Temple

Nara, Kansai

Shin-Yakushi-ji was built in 747 by Empress Komyo, who was the wife of Emperor Shomu, so that she would be able to pray for a cure of the Emperors eye ailment. Along with Todai-ji, Shin-Yakushi-ji was one of the biggest temples of that time. According to records, this temple consisted of a large number of buildings, and had 1,000 priests. Soon after this, the temple was destroyed by fire, perhaps as a result of being struck by lightning, so all that remains is the present main hall. The building is designated a National Treasure. The To-mon (“East Gate”) and Jizo-do have subsequently been rebuilt.Yakushi-Nyorai-zazo, a seated statue that measures nearly 2 m, is the focus of worship at the temple. This image is carved out of a single block of wood. Other than the eyes, eyebrows and lips, which are colored, nothing has been used to alter the wood. The figure is a leading example of Buddhist sculpture of the 9th century. Also noteworthy are the twelve Shinsho-ritsuzo statues that stand around the image of the Yakushi-Nyorai-zazo. These are believed to have been produced in the 8th century. The oldest of their kind in Japan, they are collectively designated a National Treasure.’


1352 Takabatake-cho, Nara-shi, Nara
Admission Fee
600 yen (regular fee)
Open throughout the year
[Bus]Kintetsu Nara Stn./Bus/10-min. ride/Wariishicho Stop/10-min. walk

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