What to Expect
-Yakushi-ji Temple has old history back to Fujiwara-kyo period.(a former capital of Japan.
-Temple was built in 680, but has been moved to the current location at Nara period.
-All buildings, with the exception of the East Pagoda, were destroyed by fire and natural disasters several times durin 16th century.
-Since 1967, major restoration project has been carried out, and new Kondo(Main Hall), Saitou(West Pagoda), Koudo(Lecture Hall)
have been newly built. We can feel that the original temple at Nara period based on these restored buildings. It's so colorful.
-We can see new wall paintings indicating "Silk Road" and learn how the culture has been transferred to Japan including Buddhism.
-Toshodai-ji Temple was built by famous Chinese priest Ganjin, Jian Zhen in 759.
-In the early 8th century, there were no formally trained Buddhist priest in Japan.
-Ganjin was invited by Japanese emperor as a Buddhist teaching master to come to Japan and provide Buddhist doctorines.
-He took 12 years to come to Japan after five time attempts to cross the ocean, and eye disease blinded Ganjin during these attempts.
-Buddhism statues at Toshodai-ji were crafted under the direction of Ganjin, and therefore these have a distinct Tang Chinese style.
-Essentially we can compare the new temple(Yakushi-ji) and old temple(Toshodai-ji) at the same tour.
In case when we visit Mausoleum of Emperor Suinin;
-Mausoleum of Emperor Suinin has beatiful Keyhole-shaped tumulus surrounded by water trnch.
-This tumulus has a length of 277 meters and was built in late 4th century.
-This tumulus was built much earlier than Nara period, but it is well maintained, and we can understan the typical old tumulus.