A temple for healing the sick just south of Nara Park
Shinyakushiji Temple, located just south of Nara Park, holds a significant place in Japanese history and culture. Built in the 8th century, this temple was commissioned by Empress Komyo to pray for the recovery of her husband, Emperor Shomu, who suffered from an eye ailment. The temple is dedicated to Yakushi Nyorai, the Medicine Buddha, and is known for its healing powers.
The main attraction of Shinyakushiji Temple is the statue of Yakushi Nyorai. This statue, carved from a single piece of wood, is believed to have the power to heal the sick. People from all over japan visit the temple to pray for their health and well-being. The statue is surrounded by twelve Shinsho Ritsuzo statues, also known as the Twelve Heavenly Generals. These statues are the protective deities of the buddha of healing and its followers. The craftsmanship of these statues is exquisite, and they are considered to be the oldest such pieces in Japan.
Legend has it that the bell at Shinyakushiji Temple has scratch marks on it. This bell originally hung in the bell tower at Gangoji Temple. According to local legends, a demon used to appear in the bell tower at Gangoji Temple and cause trouble. In order to put an end to this, a young boy training at the temple hid in the bell tower one night and prepared to ambush the demon. When the demon appeared, a fierce battle ensued, resulting in claw marks on the bell. These claw marks are believed to be a testament to the boy’s bravery and the victory over the demon.
To reach Shinyakushiji Temple, visitors can take a short walk south from Nara Park. It is approximately a 30-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station or a 40-minute walk from Nara Station. For those who prefer not to walk, there are buses available from both stations that stop at the Wariishicho bus stop near the temple.
The temple’s location near Nara Park makes it a convenient destination for tourists. Nara Park is home to many other famous attractions, including Todaiji Temple and the Great Buddha. Visitors can easily spend a day exploring the park and its surrounding areas, immersing themselves in the rich history and culture of Nara.
In addition to its historical and cultural significance, Shinyakushiji Temple is also known for its beautiful architecture. The temple buildings are a harmonious blend of Japanese and Chinese architectural styles, reflecting the influence of Buddhism in Japan. The serene atmosphere of the temple grounds provides a peaceful and tranquil environment for visitors to relax and reflect.
Visiting Shinyakushiji Temple is not only a spiritual experience but also an opportunity to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship of ancient Japan. The temple’s statues and carvings are testaments to the skill and dedication of the artists who created them. The attention to detail and the precision of the carving techniques are truly remarkable.
As with many historical sites in Japan, Shinyakushiji Temple has undergone several renovations and restorations over the years. However, the essence and the spiritual significance of the temple have remained intact. It continues to be a place of worship and healing for people of all backgrounds and beliefs.
In conclusion, Shinyakushiji Temple is a significant historical and cultural landmark in Nara, Japan. Its dedication to healing and its architectural beauty make it a must-visit destination for tourists and spiritual seekers alike. Whether seeking solace and healing or simply appreciating the artistry of ancient Japan, a visit to Shinyakushiji Temple is sure to be a memorable and enriching experience.
Address And Maps Location:
1352 Takabatake-cho, Nara-shi, Nara-ken