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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Nara
Toshodaiji Temple 
# 6   of 16 most visited
sights in Nara

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

Main Hall (Kondo)

Toshodaiji (, Tōshōdaiji) was founded in the year 759 by Ganjin, a Chinese priest who was invited to Japan by the emperor in order to train priests and improve Japanese Buddhism. "Toshodai" is Japanese for "invited from Tang China", which refers to Ganjin. His influence in the introduction of Buddhism to Japan was monumental, and his arrival and teaching at Toshodaiji were important stages in that process.

Toshodaiji's main hall (kondo) was re-opened in late 2009 after being renovated over a period of almost ten years, during which the building was dismantled and reconstructed. The temple's lecture hall (kodo) was moved to Toshodaiji from the Nara Imperial Palace, and is now the only surviving building of the former palace.

Lecture Hall (Kodo)
Ganjin's Grave

The Miedo stores a famous wooden statue of Ganjin which is displayed to the public only once a year for a few days around June 6, the anniversary of Ganjin's death. On the occasion of the 1250th anniversary of Ganjin's death in 2013, a replica of the statue was created that is now on permanent display to the public.

There are a number of small paths on the temple grounds that cut through thick overhanging foliage. Ganjin's grave is located at the end of one of these paths, and the surrounding nature gives the area an atmosphere of serenity. The temple also has a large bell from the Heian period, a chapel, sleeping quarters once used by monks in training, and a small treasure house that charges a small entrance fee.

View of central complex

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
By train

The temple is located about 500 meters north of Nishinokyo Station, which is located just beside Yakushiji Temple. Nishikyo Station 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 train ride takes about 25 minutes and costs 260 yen.

By bus

Buses number 70, 72 and 97 travel about three times per 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 Toshodaiji bus stop when traveling to the temple, but stop at Toshodaiji-higashiguchi bus stop when traveling in direction of central Nara. Bus 97 always stops at Toshodaiji-higashiguchi bus stop.

How to get to and around Nara

Hours and Fees
Hours:8:30 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)
Closed:No closing days
Admission:600 yen (additional 100 yen for treasure house)

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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.
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Asukaso
A fine ryokan with hot spring bath offering views of the famous five-story pagoda. Located in the heart of Nara town.
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Asukaso
Centrally located ryokan with outdoor baths that view onto the pagoda of Kofukuji Temple.
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Hotel Fujita Nara
Regular business hotel located halfway between JR Nara Station and Nara Park.
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Nara Hotel
One of the oldest Western style hotels in Japan, located next to Nara Park.
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Tours and Packages
Nara Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Nara and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Toshodaiji Temple:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 314 users):
85/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 775):
171.  Hongu Taisha (Kumano)   85/100
172.  Mazda Museum (Hiroshima)   85/100
173.  Ninjadera (Kanazawa)   85/100
174.  Gion (Kyoto)   85/100
175.  Dinosaur Museum (Fukui)   85/100
176.  Toshodaiji Temple (Nara)   85/100
177.  Takkoku no Iwaya (Hiraizumi)   85/100
178.  Winter Festival (Asahikawa)   85/100
179.  Kasuga Taisha (Nara)   85/100
180.  Sanuki Udon (Takamatsu)   85/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 907):
110.  Mount Misen (Miyajima)   694
111.  Tofukuji Temple (Kyoto)   693
112.  Beppu Hot Springs (Beppu)   690
113.  Gion Matsuri (Kyoto)   683
114.  Walking Trails (Miyajima)   682
115.  Toshodaiji Temple (Nara)   681
116.  Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (Kobe)   677
117.  Yatai (Food Stalls) (Fukuoka)   661
118.  Ninnaji Temple (Kyoto)   653
119.  Higashiyama (Kyoto)   649

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:

English Links
Toshodaiji Temple
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Toshodaiji Temple
Official website.

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