Nara Temples: Jokyoji Temple 浄教寺
Jokyoji Temple, located on Sanjo Street in Nara is a Jodo Shinshu sect temple of Japanese Buddhism. Jokyoji is a short walk east from JR Nara Station, or south-west from Kintetsu Nara Station, and just south of Emperor Kaika's tomb.
Often bypassed as visitors head to the "Big Three" must-see temples of Nara: Kofukuji, Todaiji and Horyuji, Jokyoji Temple is worth a stop to admire its cherry blossom trees in season and the large cycad trees in front of its main hall.
History of Jokyoji Temple
Jokyoji Temple was founded by the priest Gyoen, previously a samurai warrior in the 13th century, who gave up the sword to become a follower of Shinran (1173-1262) and the Jodo Shinshu sect of Japanese Buddhism.
Jodo Shinshu centers on absolute trust in the saving power of the Amida Buddha (the Buddha of Infinite Life and Light) and the invocation by its followers of the Namu-amida-butsu ("I take refuge in Amida Buddha") chant.
Jokyoji Temple in Nara dates from the Edo Period, when the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616) provided a grant for the temple to move to its present location. The original Jokyoji Temple was founded at its previous location in the 13th century.
Jokyoji Temple Buildings
Jokyoji's main buildings include the Main Hall, a Bell Tower, a graveyard and the impressive main gate.
The famous Meiji era Japan scholar Ernest Fenollosa (1853-1908) is known to have lectured at Jokyoji.
Access to Jokyoji Temple
From JR Nara Station take the East Exit and walk east (i.e., right) along Sanjo-dori, and after a 5 to 6 minute walk you will see Jokyoji on your left, just after the Hotel Fujita Nara.
From Kintetsu Nara Station head for bus stops 10, 11 and 12 on the Route 369 that runs in front of the station, go past them and take the next turn left onto Yasuragi-no-michi (i.e., the "Gangoji/Naramachi" direction on the signboard over Takama 高天 intersection), turn right (west) onto Sanjo-dori at Kamisanjocho 上三条町 intersection at the Nara City Tourist Information Office. Jokyoji is on your right, just after the Tourist Information Office.
Tel: 0742 22 3483
How to get to Nara
Airport limousine services to Kansai International Airport and Itami Airport or JR train and change at Tennoji Station in Osaka.
Access to Osaka on JR West (about 45 minutes on the express) or Kintetsu Line from Namba and Tsuruhashi. Access to Kyoto on either Kintetsu Railways (35 minutes on the Super Express Tokyu) or JR West (40 minutes on the Miyakojima Express).
Tourist Information Center
Nara City Tourist Information Office
Tel: 0742 24 4858
Kintetsu Nara Station