Yakushi-ji Temple

Yakushiji Temple 400
Yakushi-ji Temple
Photo by: andyket, Creative Commons

In Japan, there are numerous temples and shrines located in the Kansai area, specifically in Nara and Kyoto, the oldest cities and former capitals of Japan. In Nara, you will find seven of the greatest temples and shrines in Japan that are included in UNESCO’s list of “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara.” One of these is the Yakushiji Temple.

This temple used by the Hosso School, one faction of Japanese Buddhism. It is a very popular temple not just in Japan but for many of those who visit frequently. The temple is dedicated to Yakushi Nyorai, the Medicine Buddha who was originally from China and he was the one who named the temple.

You can visit several other halls or buildings inside the Yakushiji Temple because it is a multifaceted. You can go to the main hall or Kondo, the lecture hall or Kodo, the East Hall or Toindo, and the East and West Pagodas. The pagodas are important aspects of a Buddhist temples.

In the Main Hall, you will see the Yakushi Triad statues. These are the statues of Yakushi Nyorai, Nikko, and Gakko. Nikko and Gakko are the Bosatsus of the Sun and the Moon, respectively. Originally, these statues were covered in gold but because of a fire accident that happened in the temple, the statues now were blackened.

You can also see the masterpieces of the temple inside the Higashisobo or the East Dormitories. Several artworks related to the temple have been placed in Higashisobo. This is where you can buy souvenirs you can bring back home to your friends and family that show great aspects of the temples.

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