Koryuji Temple 広隆寺
Koryuji is the oldest temple in Kyoto. Koryuji is best known for its wooden image of Bodhisattva called "Miroku-Bosatsu-Hanka-Shii-zo," which is thought to have been a gift to Shotoku Taishi from the Korean court.
The Buddha of the Future is seen sitting in half-lotus and is believed to be pondering the future of mankind. Originally, the image was probably gilded.
This image was the first registered national treasure in Japan.
Shotoku Taishi, who promoted Buddhism early on in Japan, gave the image to Hatano Kawakatsu in 603. The latter built the temple to enshrine the image.
The image is believed to have originally been a gift from the Korean court to Prince Shotoku Taishi. It now stands in a temple building called the Reihoden (Treasure House), along with many other 1,000 year old statues. Photography is prohibited.
Koryuji Temple was destroyed by fire in 818 and 1150 but was restored thereafter.
Admission is 700 yen for adults. Entrance to Koryuji is from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (Dec-Feb), or 5:00 pm (March-November).
Koryuji Access - Getting To Koryuji
Uzumasa Station on the Keifuku Arahiyama line. By bus #75, Ukyokusogochosha-mae stop.
Tel: 075 861 1461
Directions on how to get to Koryuji Temple in Kyoto by bicycle from Toei Studio Park.
The Uzumasa district has a number of other attractions. Next door to Koryuji is Toei Studio Park (Eiga Mura) a collection of film sets patrolled by historical re-enactors dressed as Edo Period samurai and geisha. Visitors too can dress up in period costume for a photo shoot.
Not far away from Koryuji is the large Zen temple complex of Myoshinji and its many sub-temples and gardens. These include Taizoin, Daishin-in, Keishun-in, Shunkoin (which offers meditation sessions in English; Tel: 075 462 5488) and others.
Across the road from Myoshinji is Hokongo-in, which still retains a rare Heian Period garden. The temple's Treasure House has four Buddhist statues classified as Important ultural Properties. The statues on display include an eleven-headed Kannon, a Fudo Myo-o, a standing image of Amida and a seated statue of Amida Nyorai.
The Uzumasa area was originally settled by the Hata clan, a prosperous extended family of Korean origin. They brought the secrets of sericulture from the Asian mainland to Kyoto. Konoshima Shrine (Kaiko no Yashiro or "Silkworm Shrine") is known for its rare three pillared torii gate. Along with the torii at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and the stone torii at Itsukushima Shrine in the Gosho (Imperial Palace), it makes up one of the "three unusual torii of Kyoto." The shrine, which dates back to at least 701, also contains a sacred spring and some ancient woods.
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