Horyuji Temple

51 Review
Photo: stockphoto7 / Shutterstock.com

Japan is filled with a wide variety of temples, ranging from modest to opulent and from massive to small. Horyuji in Nara stands out from the rest as it is, not only, one of Japan’s oldest temples, but also home to the world’s oldest surviving wooden structures, making it a one-of-a-kind destination.



1-1 Hōryūji Sannai, Ikaruga, Ikoma District, Nara Prefecture 636-0115, Japan (Directions)


8:00 - 17:00 Closed now

Opening Hours

Monday 8:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 8:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 8:00 - 17:00
Thursday 8:00 - 17:00
Friday 8:00 - 17:00
Saturday 8:00 - 17:00
Sunday 8:00 - 17:00
Holidays 8:00 - 17:00


¥750 - ¥1500

Phone Number




What's unique

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

General Amenities

  • Information Counter
  • Prayer rooms


Take the Yamatoji Line from JR Nara Station to Horyuji Station (12-13 minutes). From Horyuji Station, the temple is about a 20-minute walk or a 5-minute bus ride via local bus number 72. Alternatively, you can take bus number 97 from JR Nara or Kintetsu Nara Station to Horyuji-mae bus stop (about one hour), which is a few minutes walk from the temple.

Related Articles

8 articles
Horyu-ji Temple's Western Precinct

Horyu-ji Temple's Western Precinct

Tomoko Kamishima

Horyu-ji Temple's Sai-in (Western) Precinct was established by Prince Shotoku (574-622) for the purpose of training Buddhist priests. It was a big project that announced the dawn of a new era of Japan as a Buddhist country. 

Nara 11.2k
Horyu-ji Temple, Nara

Horyu-ji Temple, Nara


Horyu-ji Temple in Ikaruga Town, Nara is famous for being the oldest wooden building in the world. Under the name of 'Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area', the temple was registered as World Cultural Heritage site in 1993.

Nara 2.0k 3
Horyuji Temple Illumination 2023

Horyuji Temple Illumination 2023


A special event this October brings colorful illuminations to Nara's Horyuji Temple, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Horyuji's registration as a World Heritage Site.

Nara 1.8k
View all articles

Horyuji Temple


1 Review
  • 5 star 1
  • 4 star 0
  • 3 star 0
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 0


Near Horyuji Temple

Yakushiji Temple

Yakushiji Temple

Yakushiji Temple is regarded as one of the oldest and most important temples in Japan, which is no surprise given its impressive status. The temple is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the headquarters of the Hosso Sect of Buddhism, and one of the Seven Great Temples of Nara. Emperor Tenmu founded the temple in 680 and dedicated it to Yakushi Nyorai (the Buddha of Healing) to aid his wife—who later became Empress Jito—in her recovery from an illness. Yakushiji was originally located in Fujiwara-kyo, but later moved to Nara in 718, where it still stands today. Although all of the original temple structures, except the East Pagoda, were lost to fires, the temple’s present-day reconstructions accurately reflect its traditional and grand design. Today, visitors and students of Buddhism flock to the site for spiritual learning, healing, and prayer. In addition to the main temple buildings listed below, Yakushiji is home to Yasumigaoka Hachimangu Shrine, other traditional halls, and Buddhist artwork and artifacts. Do not pass up the opportunity to visit Yakushiji’s distinguished temple grounds and immerse yourself in the sacred and educational atmosphere.

Nara 8km away
Toshodaiji Temple

Toshodaiji Temple

Toshodaiji Temple, located just north of Yakushiji Temple in Nara, is a significant site related to the development of Buddhism in Japan and signifies a connection between Japanese and Chinese cultures. The prestigious temple was founded in 759 by the Chinese monk Ganjin, who traveled to Japan in 754 after being asked by the emperor to help train monks and improve Japanese Buddhism. After retiring, Ganjin was granted land and consequently, established Toshodaiji to continue teaching Chinese Buddhist principles. Today, the temple is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Without a doubt, Toshodaiji’s most impressive structure is its Kondo, or Main Hall, which was reopened to visitors in 2009 after nearly ten years of reconstruction work. The one-story Kondo, situated directly behind the Nandai-mon (Southern Great Gate), is the epitome of early Japanese-Buddhist architecture with a tiled sloping roof, seven bays, columns, and dark wood tones. Due to the building’s columned facade, it is often compared to the Parthenon. Inside, the hall houses principal Buddhist statues, which are designated as National Treasures. Standing before the hall, you cannot help but be swept away by its commanding presence. Near the Kondo is the Kodo Lecture Hall. This structure was originally built as an administrative building for the Nara Imperial Palace, but later relocated to Toshodaiji after it was gifted to Ganjin. Today, the hall is the only surviving building of the palace, and thus, a historically significant and rare part of the temple. Another prominent temple building is the Miei-do, which enshrines a famous wooden sculpture of Ganjin that his disciples created using hollow-core, dry-lacquer techniques. The exclusive building is only open to the public for a few days a year around June 6th. For all other days, visitors can view a replica of the statue, which was made on the 1,250th anniversary of Ganjin’s death, on display at the nearby Kaizando. In the eastern woods of the precinct lies Ganjin’s grave, one of the most tranquil areas of the temple. Follow a nature-laden path through thick foliage and then cross over a small bridge into the peaceful haven. Toshodaiji is also home to monk sleeping quarters, storehouses for sutras and treasures, and the Koro (Shariden), which is the site of the Uchiwamaki Ceremony, or Fan Scattering Festival, on May 19. Be sure to visit this remarkable temple and walk the footsteps of one of the most influential Chinese monks of Japanese Buddhism.

Nara 8km away
Explore Nara