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Nara - Temples

Shoso-in - designated as a ’National Treasure’, this is a treasure house of religious items used in Todaiji Temple and ancient items that came to Japan via the Silk Road. It was built using the unique Azekurazukuri (log cabin) method, and the ancient treasures kept there are under the management of the Imperial Household Agency. Part of the collection of thousands of ancient items is displayed every fall at the Nara National Museum.

Kofukuji Temple (below)Originally built in 730, the five-storied pagoda is a symbol of the Deer Park. The existing pagoda in the Park is 50.8 m in height, last rebuilt in 1426 after being damaged in a succession of civil wars. Kofukuji Temple is a world heritage site, and in its sanctuary are a number of buildings listed as national treasures, such as Nan’endo Hall. The landscape around Sarusawaike Pond, including the five-storied pagoda, is a must see.

 Kasuga Taisha Shrine Established in 710 A.D. as a shrine of the powerful Fujiwara Clan, Kasuga Taisha Shrine is also famous for its beautiful wisteria. At the Mantoro Festival about 2,000 stone lanterns along the path leading to the shrine and approx. 1,000 hanging lanterns in the main precinct are lit (see below)creating a solemn atmosphere. About 300 kinds of trees and plants are planted in the ’Kasuga Taisha Shrine Jin’en Park’.


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