Kofukuji Temple was moved to its current location in Nara from Kyoto in 710. The year when the capital was moved to Nara, it was the main temple of the Fujiwara family. Although the original complex had 175 buildings, fires and the ravages of power struggles have meant that only a dozen have survived. There are two pagodas, one three-story, and one five-story, dating from 1143 and 1426, respectively. The tallest of these is the second tallest pagoda in Japan, beaten by only a few inches by Toji’s pagoda in Kyoto.
The National Treasure Museum located in the precinct is also worth a visit when you are in the area. The museum was built to house precious works of art that belonged to the Kofukuji throughout a history that dates back more than 1400 years. One of the most famous works exhibited here is the stature of Ashura who has 3 faces and 6 arms.
Kintetsu-Nara or JR-Nara station, or Kofukuji bus stop
It is free to walk in the precinct, but you need to buy tickets to enter Tokondo, Chukondo, and National Treasure Museum.
Tokondo, Chukondo, and Museum: From 9 am to 5 pm (last entry 4.45 pm)
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