Ganko-ji Buddhist Temple in the heart of Nara City originally was Asuka-dera in Asuka Village.

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

Right after the relocation of Asuka-dera from Asuka Village to Nara City in the 8th century, Asuka-dera was renamed Ganko-ji and was designated as one of the 15 major Buddhist temples under state control. It originally had extensive precincts with Kondo main hall, Kodo lecture hall, tower and other necessary facilities in the golden age. However just a part of the living facilities used by the monks remain now. The picture shows the remaining facilities of Gokurakudo hall on the right and Zendo hall on the left, both of them are on the list of national treasures. The roofing tiles of these old buildings are not unicolored. Because some roofing tiles were from Asuka-dera, built in the 6th century, in the outskirts of Nara City. These tiles were reused. They are one of the oldest roofing tiles in Japan. Ganko-ji Buddhist Temple is a component of the World Heritage Sites in ancient Nara.


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Masahisa Takaki.




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