Nearby Attractions

Kôfuku-ji TempleKôfuku-ji Temple

Kōfuku-ji Temple

The temple of Kōfuku-ji was built by the Fujiwara clan as Yamashina-dera in the present-day Yamashina district of Kyoto. It was later renamed Umayasaka-dera and moved to the Fujiwara capital. In 710, following the establishment of the ancient capital in Nara, the temple was transferred to its present location and developed under the name Kōfuku-ji. Although it was originally the tutelary temple of the Fujiwara family, Kōfuku-ji became a national temple in 720, and was expanded under the sponsorship of the imperial court and the Fujiwara clan. The main halls were completed during the Nara period but were damaged by fire several times during and after the Heian period (794–1185). In 1180, most of the temple buildings were burned down by the forces of the warlord Taira Shigehira (1156–1185). The sacred structures were rebuilt after each destruction and inherited many important artworks. Kōfuku-ji is part of the World Heritage Site “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara.”

A number of outstanding examples of Buddhist sculpture are displayed in National Treasure Hall (J., Kokuhōkan) of Kōfuku-ji, such as a three-headed and six-armed sculpture of Ashura (Skt. Asura), one of the Eight Classes of the Divine Protectors of the Buddhist Faith. The five-storied pagoda reconstructed in the Muromachi period (1392–1573) is the second tallest pagoda in Japan, after the five-storied pagoda of Tō-ji Temple in Kyoto. The view of the pagoda from the Sarusawa Pond is a popular attraction in the city of Nara.

Tōdai-ji TempleShōsō-inKōfuku-ji TempleKasuga ShrineShinyakushi-ji Temple
Byakugō-ji TempleGangō-ji TempleHimuro ShrineNara Palace SiteMt. WakakusaNara Park