Sign in for a personalized experience.
Japan Guide Homepage
Travel
Living
Forum
Restaurants
Shopping
Jobs
Friends
News
-
Essentials
-
Sightseeing
-
Accommodation
-
Transportation
-
Restaurants
-
Shopping
-
Budget Travel
-
Questions

Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Nara
Yakushiji Temple 
# 8   of 16 most visited
sights in Nara

jump to:   access  -  admission  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

Yakushiji was constructed by Emperor Tenmu in the late 7th century for the recovery of the emperor's sick wife. One of Japan's oldest temples, Yakushiji has a strictly symmetric layout, with the main and lecture halls standing on a central axis, flanked by two pagodas.

The main hall was rebuilt in the 1970s after being destroyed by fire, and houses a Yakushi trinity, a masterpiece of Japanese Buddhist art. The East Pagoda is the temple's only structure to have survived the many fires and dates from 730. It appears to have six stories, but is in fact three storied, like the West Pagoda.

Construction Notice: The East Pagoda of Yakushiji is undergoing major renovation works over a time period of almost ten years (until 2019), during which the pagoda is covered up by scaffolding. The other buildings are unaffected and still make a worthwhile visit.

Genjo-sanzoin's Octagonal Hall

The Genjo-sanzoin Garan is a recently built complex located slightly north of the main complex area. Constructed in 1981, the complex is dedicated to the Chinese monk Genjo-sanzo, who lived in the 7th century and is famous for his extensive travels to India and Central Asia. Yakushiji is the head temple of the Hosso Sect of Japanese Buddhism, upon which Genjo-sanzo's teachings had a profound influence.

The main building at Genjo-sanzoin Garan is a central octagonal hall, in which some of Genjo-sanzo's remains are enshrined. Behind the octagonal hall is a building displaying works of Hirayama Ikuo, one of Japan's most celebrated painters who passed away in 2009. The paintings depict scenes of Genjo-sanzo's journeys, which have inspired Hirayama's work. The complex is closed about half the time.

Yakushiji and Wakakusayama in the distance

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
By train

The temple is located right beside Nishinokyo Station, which can be reached from Kintetsu Nara Station by taking the Kintetsu Nara Line to Yamato-Saidaiji Station and transferring to the Kintetsu Kashihara Line. The entire trip takes about 25 minutes and costs 260 yen.

By bus

Buses number 70, 72 and 97 travel about three times an hour to the temple from JR Nara Station (15 minutes, 250 yen) and Kintetsu Nara Station (20 minutes, 250 yen). Buses 70 and 72 stop at Yakushiji bus stop when traveling to the temple, but stop at Yakushiji-higashiguchi bus stop when traveling in direction of central Nara. Bus 97 always stops at Yakushiji-higashiguchi bus stop.

How to get to and around Nara

Hours and Fees
Hours:8:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)
Closed:Main temple: No closing days
Genjo-sanzoin Garan is closed from mid January through February, from July to mid September (except Obon in mid August) and in December
Admission:800 yen (500 yen when Genjo-sanzoin Garan is closed)

Advertisement

Hotels and Ryokan
Nara is commonly visited on a day trip from Kyoto or Osaka, and only a few tourists overnight there. Indeed, the range of accommodation in Nara is rather limited, but there are a few options for those aiming to visit the city in more than a day trip. A location close to Nara Park is generally preferred.
Search Hotels
Sponsor Hotels
Asukaso
A fine ryokan with hot spring bath offering views of the famous five-story pagoda. Located in the heart of Nara town.
Hotel Nikko Nara
Extremely convenient. Next door to JR Nara Station, within 10-min bus ride to Kokufu-ji Temple /Nara Park. Diverse restaurant menu and free Wi-Fi available.
Recommended Hotels around Nara - with lowest rates by selected hotel reservation websites
Asukaso
Centrally located ryokan with outdoor baths that view onto the pagoda of Kofukuji Temple.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Hotel Fujita Nara
Regular business hotel located halfway between JR Nara Station and Nara Park.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Nara Hotel
One of the oldest Western style hotels in Japan, located next to Nara Park.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking

Tours and Packages
Nara Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Nara and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Yakushiji Temple:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 258 users):
85/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 786):
197.  Mount Mitake (Tokyo)   85/100
198.  Kumamoto Castle (Kumamoto)   85/100
199.  Sakurajima (Kagoshima)   85/100
200.  Narai (Kiso Valley)   85/100
201.  Philosopher's Path (Kyoto)   85/100
202.  Yakushiji Temple (Nara)   85/100
203.  Irozaki Coast (Izu Peninsula)   85/100
204.  Hongu Taisha (Kumano)   85/100
205.  Odaiba (Tokyo)   85/100
206.  Senkaku Bay (Sado Island)   85/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 913):
128.  Naramachi (Nara)   634
129.  Ise Shrines (Ise Shima)   632
130.  Shuri Castle (Okinawa Island)   625
131.  Glover Garden (Nagasaki)   623
132.  Kenchoji Temple (Kamakura)   623
133.  Yakushiji Temple (Nara)   623
134.  Kanazawa Castle (Kanazawa)   617
135.  Kitano Tenmangu (Kyoto)   612
136.  Enoshima (Kamakura)   606
137.  Canal Area (Otaru)   605

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

Japanese Links
Yakushiji Temple
Official website.

Online Reservations
Hotel
 
Car
 
Flight
 
Bus

(check-in)

Related Pages

Most Recent Autumn Color Report
October 29
Shima Onsen
more reports...

News and Reports
April 16, 2012
Yoshino Cherry Blossom Report
by schauwecker
December 1, 2011
Nara Autumn Color Report
by schauwecker
Nara Autumn Color Report
November 18, 2010
Nara Cherry Blossom Report
April 3, 2010
Yoshino Cherry Blossom Report
April 6, 2010
Nara Cherry Blossom Report
March 26, 2010
Wakakusa Yamayaki
January 23, 2010
Nara Autumn Color Report
November 23, 2009
More reports...

Related Questions
Onsen near Nara (Todaji Temple & Nara...
 3 reactions, last updated 60 days ago
Kintetsu rail pass
 2 reactions, last updated 71 days ago
Nara for 1/2 day or full day? October
 6 reactions, last updated 90 days ago
Nara shopping
 1 reaction, last updated 110 days ago
Horyuji and Nara in one day?
 1 reaction, last updated 111 days ago
Tofukuji (Nara) questions
 7 reactions, last updated 135 days ago
Nara park trees
 9 reactions, last updated 147 days ago
Day trip to Nara on a weekday or weekend?...
 5 reactions, last updated 166 days ago
Kasugayama forest Nara
 3 reactions, last updated 192 days ago
Taxi from Nara to Itami airport
 3 reactions, last updated 197 days ago
Kansai thru pass to nara park
 2 reactions, last updated 198 days ago
Nara and Horyuji
 1 reaction, last updated 218 days ago
Transportation around Nara
 7 reactions, last updated 221 days ago
Where are large supermarkets in Nara
 3 reactions, last updated 263 days ago
Nara Access Ticket by Nankai
 2 reactions, last updated 288 days ago
What to do when all lockers are full?
 7 reactions, last updated 302 days ago
Horyuji
 1 reaction, last updated 311 days ago
How to get to Nara from Nagoya?
 5 reactions, last updated 329 days ago
Staying in Nara, want to see Osaka and...
 2 reactions, last updated 354 days ago
How stroller friendly is a trip to Nara
 4 reactions, last updated 359 days ago

Travel
Living
Japan A-Z
Community
Sightseeing
Accommodation
Transportation
Shopping
Essentials
Regions
Prefectures
Cities
Working
Studying
Living Cost
Apartments
Arts and Crafts
Entertainment
History
Religion
Etiquette
Food
Language
Tradition
Question Forum
Classifieds
Trip Reports
Member Area
Sightseeing Guide
Hokkaido
Sapporo
Otaru
Hakodate
Noboribetsu
Niseko
Furano
Daisetsuzan
Shiretoko
more...
Tohoku
Sendai
Matsushima
Hiraizumi
Hachimantai
Hirosaki
Lake Towada
Dewa Sanzan
Aizu
more...
Kanto
Tokyo
Yokohama
Kamakura
Hakone
Nikko
Kawagoe
Kusatsu
Narita
more...
Chubu
Nagoya
Mount Fuji
Izu Peninsula
Matsumoto
Kiso Valley
Takayama
Shirakawa-go
Kanazawa
more...
Kansai
Kyoto
Osaka
Nara
Kobe
Himeji
Mount Koya
Kumano
Ise Shima
more...
Chugoku
Hiroshima
Miyajima
Okayama
Kurashiki
Tottori
Matsue
Iwakuni
Hagi
more...
Shikoku
Takamatsu
Kotohira
Naoshima
Matsuyama
Kochi
Tokushima
Naruto
Iya Valley
more...
Kyushu
Fukuoka
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Mount Aso
Beppu
Kagoshima
Kirishima
Yakushima
more...
Okinawa
Honto
Kume
Miyako
Yaeyama
Copyright © 1996-2014 japan-guide.com All rights reserved - Last Page Update: July 24, 2013
home - site map - privacy policy - terms of use - contact - employment - Lɂ‚ - advertising