Horyu-ji Temple's Western Precinct

World's oldest wooden buildings here are 1300 years old

By Tomoko Kamishima    - 1 min read

Horyu-ji Temple, about a one hour trip from Kyoto, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It includes the world's oldest wooden buildings, which have endured rain and wind for more than 1300 years. Especially, the five-story pagoda in the temple's Sai-in (Western) Precinct is a very sophisticated artwork, because of its exquisite balance and design, elegant and waterproof eaves, and well-thought-out seismic techniques. Prince Shotoku (574-622), a regent of Emperor Suiko (554-628), established Sai-in (Western) Precinct to train Buddhist priests. He expected these priests to grow and to maintain national order and peace. It was a big project that announced the dawn of a new era of Japan as a Buddhist nation. 

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Tomoko Kamishima

Tomoko Kamishima @tomoko.kamishima

Japan is a small island nation, but we have a huge number of surprising things to discover here. Many of these delights can be found when you step off the main street onto small side paths. I really enjoy studying about and researching various aspects of traditional Japanese culture, and then sharing this information with visitors to Japan. I hope you will enjoy it, too! ARTICLE INDEX & PHOTOS:  An index of most of my Japan Travel articles can be found at the entry page of my blog, and my photos are shown here.  日本はとても小さな国ですが、大通りから一本小道に入ればたくさんの発見があります。日本人が積み重ねてきた歴史を学びながら、古い建物や庭を訪ね、物語の舞台となった景色を眺めて、皆様といっしょに日本文化の奥深さを探求していきたいと思います。