Home
Back

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.

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 treasure house.

Getting there and around

By train

The temple is located about 500 meters north of Nishinokyo Station, which is located just beside Yakushiji Temple. Nishinokyo 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 15 minutes and costs 260 yen.

By bus

Bus number 72, 78 and 98 provide three connections per hour from Kintetsu Nara Station (20 minutes, 270 yen) and JR Nara Station (15 minutes, 270 yen) to Toshodaiji Temple. The closest bus stop to get off is Toshodaiji () right in front of the temple. Bus number 98 only stops at the Toshodaiji-higashiguchi bus stop (񎛓), a five minute walk away.

When returning to central Nara, buses do not serve the Toshodaiji bus stop. Instead, you can catch bus number 72, 77 and 97 from Toshodaiji-higashiguchi bus stop.

How to get to and around Nara

Hours and Fees

Hours

Closed

Admission

Hotels around Nara

Top rated in Nara
Budget:
    • Yuzan Guesthouse
      Budget-friendly
      Conveniently located a 5-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station and a 8-minute walk from JR Nara Station, Yuzan Guest House Annex offers cosy accommodation with a shared kitchen. Free WiFi access is available throughout the property. Each room is simply decorated and comes with air conditioning and heating facilities. Guests can choose to stay in Japanese-style rooms featuring tatami (woven-straw) floor and futon bedding. Bathroom facilities are shared. At Guest House Yuzan Annex you will find a small garden, a terrace and a shared lounge. Free luggage storage is also available upon request. Guests can make a 10-minute stroll to the Nara Park, located in the city central area. Todaiji Temple and Heijo Palace are both a 10-minute drive away while Kansai International Airport can be reached with a 80-minute drive. Meals are not served on site.
      View on Booking.com
      9.2Booking.com
    • Mountain Home Lodge in Deer Park
      Budget-friendly
      Situated in Nara, near Nara Park, Kasuga Taisha and Kofuku-ji Temple, Mountain Home Lodge in Deer Park features free WiFi. Each unit is fitted with air conditioning, private bathroom and a kitchen including a microwave, fridge, stovetop and a toaster. If you would like to discover the area, hiking is possible in the surroundings. Todai-ji Temple is 2.4 km from the lodge, while Heijo Palace Ruins is 6 km from the property. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 49 km from Mountain Home Lodge in Deer Park.
      View on Booking.com
      9.2Booking.com
    • Hilo Hostel
      Mid-range
      Located 1.5 km from Kofuku-ji Temple, Hilo Hostel provides rooms with air conditioning in Nara. With free WiFi, this 3-star hostel offers a shared kitchen and luggage storage space. Local points of interest like Todai-ji Temple and Kasuga Taisha are reachable within 2.4 km and 2.6 km, respectively. Popular points of interest near the hostel include Naramachi, Nara Prefectural Art Museum and Gangoji Temple. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 46 km from Hilo Hostel.
      View on Booking.com
      9.2Booking.com
    • NARA Visitor Center and Inn
      Budget-friendly
      The Nara Visitor Center and Inn is situated in the heart of Nara, just a 3-minute walk from Kofuku-ji Temple and Naramachi. The Todai-ji Temple and Deer Park are a 10-minute stroll away, while Nara Station on the Kintetsu Line is a 7-minute walk. JR Nara Station is 14-minutes away on foot. All guest rooms feature air conditioning and heating, and are equipped with a fridge and flat-screen TV. Japanese samue nightwear are available to all staying guests. Some units come equipped with an en suite bathroom with a shower, while some Japanese-style rooms come with an en suite shower. Japanese-style rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. The property offers free WiFi access and a 24-hour front desk. Luggage storage is available. There is a public bath on site, where guests will find free toiletries and hairdryers. A coin launderette, a shared kitchen and free-use internet PCs are offered on site. The on-site tourist information desk offers information in English, Chinese and Korean. Services offered at the desk include transport and meal tickets at a discount, currency exchange, bike hire at a charge, cultural activities at an additional charge, such as Japanese calligraphy lessons, and tour arrangements. Some cultural activities such as origami folding are offered free of charge.
      View on Booking.com
      9.0Booking.com
    • SLOW HOUSE NARA
      Budget-friendly
      Located within 2.1 km of Todai-ji Temple and 2.3 km of Kasuga Taisha, SLOW HOUSE NARA offers rooms in Nara. The 2-star guest house has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen and luggage storage space for guests. At the guest house, each room comes with a desk. At SLOW HOUSE NARA every room is equipped with bed linen and towels. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Kofuku-ji Temple, Naramachi and Gangoji Temple. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 47 km from SLOW HOUSE NARA.
      View on Booking.com
      9.0Booking.com
    • Hotel Rokune
      Mid-range
      Located in Nara, Hotel Rokune provides 3-star accommodation with private balconies. Located around 1.4 km from Kofuku-ji Temple, the hotel with free WiFi is also 2.3 km away from Heijo Palace Ruins. The property is 2.3 km from Todai-ji Temple and 2.5 km from Nara Park. At the hotel, every room is equipped with a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen and towels. All units at Hotel Rokune include air conditioning and a wardrobe. The accommodation offers 3-star accommodation with a hot tub and terrace. Popular points of interest near Hotel Rokune include Naramachi, Gangoji Temple and Nara Prefectural Art Museum. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 36 km from the hotel.
      View on Booking.com
      8.9Booking.com
    • Nara Guesthouse Kamunabi
      Budget-friendly
      Nara Guesthouse Kamunabi has a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge and garden in Nara. Popular points of interest nearby include Naramachi, Nara National Museum and Shin Yakushiji. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. Complete with a shared bathroom, all guest rooms at the guest house come with air conditioning, and some rooms also feature a seating area. The rooms feature a safety deposit box. Continental and American breakfast options are available every morning at Nara Guesthouse Kamunabi. The area is popular for cycling, and bike hire is available at the accommodation. Popular points of interest near Nara Guesthouse Kamunabi include Kofuku-ji Temple, Todai-ji Temple and Gangoji Temple. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 48 km from the guest house.
      View on Booking.com
      8.9Booking.com
    • Hotel Naranohamori
      Mid-range
      Set in Nara, 700 metres from Kofuku-ji Temple, Hotel Naranohamori offers rooms with air conditioning and free WiFi. The property is around 2 km from Nara Park, 4.3 km from Heijo Palace Ruins and less than 1 km from Nara National Museum. The hotel features family rooms. All rooms in the hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. The units feature a private bathroom, slippers and bed linen. Popular points of interest near Hotel Naranohamori include Todai-ji Temple, Kasuga Taisha and Nara Prefectural Art Museum. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 47 km from the accommodation.
      View on Booking.com
      8.8Booking.com
    • Guesthouse Nara Komachi
      Budget-friendly
      Just a 5-minute walk from JR Nara Station, Guesthouse Nara Komachi features affordable rooms with free Wi-Fi and a private bathroom with shower. The non-smoking hostel offers rental bicycles. Nara Komachi Guesthouse offers Japanese-style rooms and Western rooms. The rooms are simple, yet comfortable, and come with an 32-inch LCD TV and bathroom amenities. Facilities at Komachi Nara include a lounge with TV, a shared kitchen and an information corner with guide books and maps. The computer corner offers free use of headsets. Guesthouse Nara Komachi is a 15-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station. Convenience stores, a post office and banks can be found within a 5-minute walk. No meals are served.
      View on Booking.com
      8.8Booking.com
    • Guesthouse Nara Backpackers
      Budget-friendly
      Just 200 metres from Nara Park, Nara Backpackers offers affordable accommodation with free Wi-Fi. The traditional, 100 year-old house includes a modern free-use kitchen with microwave. Bicycle rental is offered. Each dormitory-style bunk bed at Guesthouse Nara Backpackers has a reading light, power outlet and privacy curtains. Bathrooms and toilets are shared. A coin-operated washing machine is provided. Children must be 13 or older to stay at this property. The guesthouse is about a 10-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Train Station. JR Nara Train Station is 1.8 km away. Todai-ji Temple and Kofuku-ji are a 10-minute walk.
      View on Booking.com
      8.8Booking.com