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Nara Feature 4: Kikoji

Note: This Feature was made on October 10, 2001, as I visited the Yamato Area of old Japan. (MAP)


Kikoji is one of the many temples located on Nara's quieter west side. It is between Saidaiji and the Tomb of Emperor Suinin. A walk down this road evokes the past in a way that few places can. You can read about my visit to Nara in my Logbook.

This was a surprise. I turned off the main road onto the grounds. The entrance is at the back of the main hall, so you don't really know what you're getting into. As I strolled in carefree, a man came running up behind me shouting "Konnichiwa"--and promptly asked me for 300 yen. 300 yen? I thought. The Great Buddha was only 500! Digging for coins, all I could come up with was a 500 yen piece. As he started to run off for change, I told him to keep it. Charge me 300, will ya? I'll show you--I'll give you 500! That'll teach him.

Well, it was worth it. A desolate little hall filled with spectacular statuary. This must have been some place in its heyday. If anyone knows more about it, please fill me in.

The unpromising entry from behind the main hall

The marvelous front of the main hall.

Gravestones in the small cemetery

The triad of statues inside the main hall:

Posted October 6, 2019

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