Koryuji Temple 広隆寺
See some of Kyoto's oldest and most beautiful Buddhist statues
Koryuji Temple was established in the first part of the seventh century and is considered Kyoto's oldest temple. Some of the greatest cultural artifacts from the Heian period are on display within the temple grounds.
- A visit in August, when the lotus flowers in the temple pond are in full bloom
- Some years, Koryuji hosts a bull festival in October, in which bulls face off in a head-to-head battle similar to sumo
Legend has it that Hata no Kawakatsu, founder of Japanese kagura dance, established this temple after receiving the statue of Miroku-Bosatsu from Prince Shotoku
In 1969, one of Miroku-Bosatsu's fingers was accidentally broken off by a university student overwhelmed by the statue's beauty
How to Get There
By train, take the JR San-In line from Kyoto Station to Uzumasa Station. Koryuji Temple is a ten minute walk.
The Kodo hall
The Kodo hall, where the priests read Buddhist scriptures, was built in the 12th century, while other structures were rebuilt in the 17th century. The Kodo is designated by the national government as an Important Cultural Property.
Enshrined within this building is a seated figure of Amida-Nyorai Buddha, who presides over Buddhist paradise. This Buddha is a National Treasure, while many other statues within the hall are designated as Important Cultural Properties.
Japan's first National Treasure
Housed in the neighboring Reihoden are many ancient Buddhist images, paintings, writings and historical documents, all designated as either National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties. The statue of Miroku-Bosatsu, the Buddha of the future, was the first designated National Treasure in Japan, receiving the honor in 1951.