Gangoji Temple is in Nara.
For more on Nara and it’s surroundings, feel free to click the links below.
Kyoto, which is also very close by to Nara can be seen in the links here.
Today, we head for Gangoji Temple!
On we go!!~
❁Many ❃flowers❃ line the way to the temple.❁
❀ A sunflower a day brightens you up everyday! ❀
A small shrine with a small pond, together with thousands of statues – within a small park.
These stone statues, they serve another purpose as well.
They act as guides, leading towards the temple.
Guides leading you into the light.
Upon arriving, another set of statues welcome you.
This time, made of wood.
Welcome to Gangoji!
Gangoji Temple was one of Nara’s seven great temples.
Nara’s six other great temples include: Todaiji, Yakushiji, Saidaiji, Kofukuji, Horyuji and Daianji.
It originated as Asukadera in Asuka and was moved to Nara in the year 718.
Asukadera is considered Japan’s oldest temple.
Today, Gangoji is only a small fraction of what it used to be.
“Without Suffering, there will be no Peace.“
It is said that Gangoji Temple, which is located to the south of the Sarusawa-no-ike Pond; is also known as Gokuraku-bo “Paradise Temple”.
The water flows magically…
I get a mystical sense of serenity around these compounds.
Anyhow, this “Paradise Temple” was founded in the late 8th century which is about the same period as when Asuka-dera Temple was founded.
This temple which is generally also regarded to be the oldest temple in Japan, was relocated from Asuka to Heijo-kyo Palace.
At its peak, the temple had been considered to be one of the seven most prominent temples in Nara.
However, it caught fire twice, once in the 15th century and again in the 19th century.
Now, only the remains of the East Great Pagoda and the West Minor Pagoda, as well as Gokuraku-bo consisting of Gokuraku-do Hall and a zen room, are found there as reminders of those days.
The Gokuraku-bo, which is registered as a national treasure, used to be the monks’ dormitory but has been renovated as a temple.
It is significant for its 13th century architecture and its roof tiles, which show a strong influence of the Paekche architecture of the Korean Peninsula.
Here’s more pictures of the temple grounds.
There is also a little museum here.
This museum showcases many rare artifacts of the past.
Many timeless artifacts can be found here.
This is the “Fire that Raged“.
A painting, beautifully done by a monk a long time ago.
Here are more pictures of the museum.
It’s quite interesting, really.
“The true Beauty of Nature.”
The area which was once the precincts of Gangoji Temple is now called Nara-machi, and still preserves the atmosphere of the early 19th century town.
Nara-machi – many 19th century shop houses now surround Gangoji Temple.
And this is where we had our food!
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A couple more pictures before i end this post!
For more info of cities in the Kansai region like Himeji and Kobe, check out the links below.
And of course, not to forget Osaka; Gateway to Kansai – in the links here.