Horyu-ji 法隆寺 (Temple of Buddha’s Teachings)
“Horyu-ji” [法隆寺/ほうりゅうじ] is the famous temple which located in Kyoto prefecture.
Picture: Horyu-ji temple
The prestigious Horyu-ji is located in the town Ikaruga, which is inside the prefecture Nara, which is probably the first place people associate with japanese shrineculture and religion. Also Nara is a famous touring spot when you are interested in culture of Pre-feudal japan.
The temple Horyu-ji has been originally built around 5th century and was commissioned by the Shoutoku Taishi who was a japanese ruler of the Asuka-Period very fond of the religious buddhism. The temple was destroyed many times either by force or by calamities, so it is not remained in it’s original state nowadays.
The temple as it is nowadays is made up of two sections. One is called Sai-in and the other one is called To-in. The Sai-in contains the so called 金堂 (Kondou) which means “sanctuary hall” and the iconic 5-story high pagoda , while the To-in contains the “Yumedono” (Hall of Dreams)
Picture: Yume-Dono (Hall of Dreams)
The architecture of the Horyu-ji is fairly inspired by the buildings of ancient China and Paekche (old region on the korean peninsula). These influences stem from international trade relations between the two countries. The current Horyu-ji does not resemble its original style anymore, so that might be a little controversial.
Also the different areas of the Horyu-ji contain a lot of buddhist art and old treasures which have been made into national treasure of great symbolic worth. These include Statues, old scriptures, depictions of buddhas and bodhisattvas and many more.
Definitely worth a visit and a place where you can learn a lot from so please include it in your journey!