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Hokiji Temple

Prince Yamashiro, son of Shotoku Taishi (574–622), established Hokiji Temple to honor his father’s dying wish. Construction was completed in 708, but excavations have revealed the presence of an earlier structure on this site. This was the Okamoto Palace, the place where Shotoku Taishi lectured on the Lotus Sutra.

Hokiji Temple flourished in the Nara period, but would later fall into decline and fell under the jurisdiction of Horyuji Temple, which is located nearby. Hokiji Temple’s magnificent three-storied pagoda, which has been designated a National Treasure, is the only original structure remaining from the early eighth century. The priest Shinsei Ennin and his followers restored the pagoda and built the Kodo Hall in the late seventeenth century. The Shotendo Hall was added in 1863. The Kodo Hall enshrines a gilded wooden statue of the Eleven-faced Kannon from the Heian period (794–1185), which has been designated as an Important Cultural Property. Now you can see it in the newly built store house.
In 1993, Horyuji Temple and its inner precincts and surroundings, including Hokiji Temple, became the first site in Japan to be registered as a World Heritage Site.

Jūitimen Kannon Bosatsu

Pagodas at Buddhist temples in Japan were originally conceived as reliquaries and monuments dedicated to Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha. Hokiji Temple’s majestic Three-storied Pagoda, standing some 24 meters tall, is a rare example of architecture from Japan’s Asuka period (593–710) and the oldest three-storied pagoda in Japan. It is the only original building to have survived since Hokiji Temple was established in 708. It is said that there used to be inscriptions on the base of the pagoda finial such as the wish Shotoku Taishi left for his son Prince Yamashiro in which he asked for the Okamoto Palace to be converted into a Buddhist temple.

The pagoda was modeled after the Five-storied Pagoda at Horyuji Temple, which Hokiji Temple belongs to. In contrast to the layout at Horyuji, however, the pagoda at Hokiji is located on the east and faces the Hondo, or Main Hall, on the west.

Hokiji Temple Three-storied Pagoda

Kōdō (Lecture Hall)

Hours of Operation

2/22~11/3 : 8:30~17:00
11/4~2/21 : 8:30~16:30

Admission Fees

Adult ¥300
Child ¥200
※ Adult is 12 years-old and over.

Hokiji Temple
1873 Okamoto Ikaruga-dho, Ikoma-gun, Nara JAPAN

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