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Nara Feature 8: Horyuji

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


Horyuji is one of the many temples located on Nara's quieter west side. It is south of Yakushiji, at the southern end of the walk I took that day. 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.

I love this place. The first time I came here, I met a group of Japanese-Korean students (third generation or more in Japan). Their teacher was explaining to them that this place wouldn't be here if Korea hadn't sent Buddhist missionaries. Unquestionably one of the oldest temples in Japan, and claiming the oldest wooden buildings in the world, this place is a masterpiece.

A word about these pictures: at full size, they're fuzzy. That's because I was shooting in almost-darkness. I have this idea for a coffee-table book: World Heritage Sites: What Can We See After Closing? Anyway, I don't care; it was great to be here.

The niomon (Two Kings Gate) and pagoda.

The gate to the Yumedono, or Dream Pavilion.

A pair of kings: The nio.

Am I the only one who thinks this guy looks a little like Darth Maul?

Posted October 6, 2019

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