Sunday, September 21, 2014

thousand year old buildings at horyu-ji

Do you know that one of the oldest wooden structures in the entire world actually resides in Japan?!? Horyu-ji is located in Nara Prefecture and despite having gone to Nara many times to see the deer I never took the time to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

the kondo and the pagoda
Both of these buildings are pretty freaking old but the kondo was damaged by a fire so mostly its a reconstruction whilst the central pillar in the pagoda can be dated back to the year 600. Dang this building has survived for over a thousand years! In Japan I'm always reading about how all the original buildings have been burnt down by fires or destroyed one way or another so it's interesting to stand next to something so old.

a closer look at a century old wooden structure
I wanna say I was blown away by this temple but after seeing so many temples in Japan they all start to blend together. Besides being super old there wasn't anything particular about this temple complex that made it stand out in my mind. Aesthetically I've seen prettier temples or shrines with more unique features so if you are just visiting Japan I would recommend skipping this temple and just heading straight over to Nara where there are more things to do. Like feed the deer, get struck in the crotch by antlers and then proceed to be chased down by them.

side by side buildings built in two different time periods
late lunch - curry udon
followed by some parfaits - caramel, milk tea and yogurt (actual sour yogurt and not froyo - 870 yen)
Ended the day in Kyoto where we took more photo booth pics! One can never get too tired of these or can they...Went back to get some more delicious parfaits unfortunately mine was horrid! Ellen helped me ask them if it was yogurt or more like ice cream ala froyo and the server said the latter. However it was gross ass sour yogurt which totally ruined the whole parfait. Super disappointed!

The Details
Access: Horyuji Station and then a 20 min walk from the station or a 5 minute bus ride
Hours: 8am-5pm
Admission Fee: 1500 yen (freaking hefty - not worth it)
No closing dates
There are also volunteer guides who can show you around and tell you about the temple. The guides themselves are free but you would have to pay their entrance fee...

Karafuneya Coffee Sanjo Head Office
39 Daikokumachi, Kawaramachi Sanjo-dori Kudaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Hours: 9:00am-1:00am
Telephone: 075-254-8774

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