Nearby Attractions

Byakugô-ji Temple

Byakugō-ji Temple

Located in the hillside of Mount Takamado, this temple’s origins are not well known. One theory suggests that it was originally an imperial villa belonging to Prince Shiki, son of Emperor Tenji (626–671, r. 668–671). Another theory states that it was part of the monasteries of Iwabuchi-dera Temple built by the scholarly priest Konzō of the Daian-ji Temple. According to the documentation of the temple, the Byakugō-ji was reconstructed by priest Eison (1201–1290) of Saidai-ji Temple during the Kamakura period, and his disciple Dōshō decided to practice chanting the essence of Issaikyō Sutra. This style of brief chanting became an annual event at the temple since the Issaikyō Sutra was imported during China’s Sothern Song dynasty. In the Muromachi period, Byakugō-ji became a well-known place to see cherry blossoms.

The present Main Hall (J., Hondō) and Founder’s Hall were reconstructed in the Edo period. The principal statue of Amida Nyorai (Skt., Amitabha) was produced in the Heian period. The storehouse holds spectacular statues like Enma (Skt., Yama), king of the underworld. In spring, camellias in five colors blossom beautifully in the temple garden, and in autumn, delicate bush clovers bloom along the stone steps leading to the temple gate.

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Byakugō-ji TempleGangō-ji TempleHimuro ShrineNara Palace SiteMt. WakakusaNara Park