Shin-Yakushiji Temple (新薬師寺) was founded during the Nara Period (710-794) by an empress for the sake of the ailing emperor. It is devoted to Yakushi Buddha, the patron of medicine in Japanese Buddhism. Shin-Yakushiji means "New Yakushi Temple", because there already existed a Yakushiji Temple. During its heyday, Shin-Yakushiji consisted of a large complex of buildings, but all except for the main hall (Hondo) have since been lost.
Inside the main hall there are life size statues of 12 guardian deities surrounding a two meter tall statue of a seated Yakushi Buddha, which are the temple's main objects of worship. The Yakushi statue is made of wood while the guardians are made of clay. Each guardian has a different character and possesses a different weapon, and visitors can spend quite a while admiring them. There are also a few small paths around the temple grounds.