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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. Ganjin's influence in the introduction of Buddhism to Japan was monumental, and his arrival and teaching at Toshodaiji (which roughly translates to "temple of the one invited from Tang China") 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 originally an administrative building located in the Nara Imperial Palace and was later moved to Toshodaiji. Today, it is 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 200 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.
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
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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 Toshodaiji Temple:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 319 users):
85/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 788):
175.  Takaosan (Tokyo)   86/100
176.  Mazda Museum (Hiroshima)   85/100
177.  Jionzenji Temple (Gujo-Hachiman)   85/100
178.  Senganen Garden (Kagoshima)   85/100
179.  Universal Studios (Osaka)   85/100
180.  Toshodaiji Temple (Nara)   85/100
181.  Akihabara (Tokyo)   85/100
182.  Kasuga Taisha (Nara)   85/100
183.  Gion (Kyoto)   85/100
184.  Matsue Castle (Matsue)   85/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 921):
113.  Tofukuji Temple (Kyoto)   719
114.  Walking Trails (Miyajima)   714
115.  Gion Matsuri (Kyoto)   708
116.  Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (Kobe)   702
117.  Higashiyama (Kyoto)   702
118.  Toshodaiji Temple (Nara)   697
119.  Yatai (Food Stalls) (Fukuoka)   693
120.  Kumamoto Castle (Kumamoto)   678
121.  Ninnaji Temple (Kyoto)   678
122.  Government Building (Tokyo)   675

User Feedback
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English Links
Toshodaiji Temple
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Toshodaiji Temple
Official website.

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