On Saturday, July 1st, I visited Horyuji Temple in Nara prefecture. Horyuji Temple houses some of the world´s oldest wooden structures which conveys how Japan looked 1,300 years ago. Around 60% of Horyuji Temple is original with the rest being rebuilt over the years due to burning down from fire attacks. Horyuji Temple became the first property in Japan to be named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO back in 1993.
During my time at the temple, I participated in a tour hosted by an English-speaking guide. It was actually a one-on-one tour due to being planned ahead of time. The guide picked me up from the Waqoo Horyuji, where I was staying, and we walked to the temple together. If you would like to learn more about the Waqoo Horyuji, please see my article about it on the main page.
The tour guide was very informative and offered great facts and history about the temple while walking me around the temple grounds. Horyuji Temple’s main gate and buildings are very beautiful with sloped roofs. The temple features various statues of the temple’s founder, Prince Shōtoku, and his parents, alongside traditional Buddhist statues. The main grounds of Horyuji temple are very open with lots of space between buildings which is different from other temples that I have visited and made for a very unique layout.
Horyuji Temple is an amazing site and definitely proves why it is Japan’s first World Heritage Site. From its Buddhist statues to its architecture, the temple is beautiful and holds many artifacts. Pictures cannot be taken of the artifacts, so the only way to see them is to visit Horyuji Temple for yourself. Special artifacts are also on display during certain times of the year. Please see the following website for more details: http://www.horyuji.or.jp/en/.