Right on the main road through Nara Park, World Heritage Kohfukuji Temple is marked by an impressive five storey pagoda, a symbol of Nara which still dominates the landscape. Without the usual grand front gate, the entrance is surprisingly low-key, indicated only by a sign board and a path leading to the main courtyard. The first building you encounter is the nondescript concrete National Treasure Museum, but don’t miss it: it is home to some of the best Buddhist carvings in Japan including the six-armed Ashura figure.
Just beyond is the Tokondo or East Golden Hall, which has an impressive Yakushi Nyorai Buddha. The five story pagoda next to the hall is the second tallest in Japan. The two octagonal halls and a second smaller pagoda look especially beautiful around sunset and when the temple is illuminated in February. They can also be accessed from the top of Sanjo Dori, next to Sarusawa Pond.
Established with the new capital in 710, it was the family temple of the powerful Fujiwara clan and covered most of what is now Nara Park, with over 150 buildings. In the Meiji period, during a wave of anti-Buddhist policies, much of the land was confiscated, but what remains is spectacular. Kohfukuji Temple is next to Nara National Museum, a few minutes walk from Todaiji Temple and Kasugataisha Shrine and just a few steps from the main shopping area. Directly opposite the temple complex, the Nara Prefectural Office has stunning views across Nara from the rooftop.
KANSAI NARA Treasure Travel
Experience the magic of cherry blossom season in Nara
Last update: 2020-09-17
- Venue Details & Access Info
48 Noboriojicho, Nara
From Kintetsu Nara Station:
- 5 minutes on foot from the station.
Related Venues The Kohfukuji National Treasure Hall Related Events Tsuinae Ceremony
Kohfukuji Takigi Noh
- 興福寺 Kohfukuji Temple
- address 奈良市登大路町48 48 Noboriojicho, Nara
- Opening Time & Admissions
Open all hours
Tokondo and Treasure Hall: 9:00 - 17:00
Open all year round
*Group discount available
*Discounts available for disabled visitors
Available Foreign Languages
No foreign language spoken (Japanese only)
Information in English
- Contact Details