Asuka-dera Temple

Japan’s first fully-fledged Buddhist temple, the Asuka-dera was completed in 596 by through the efforts of the samurai Soga no Umako, who promoted Buddhism in the nation. The temple’s principle object of worship, a bronze seated figure of Gautama Buddha popularly known as the “Asuka Great Buddha,” is Japan’s oldest Buddhist image and a designated Important Cultural Property. The Hana-eshiki Ceremony, which celebrates the birth of Gautama Buddha, is also famous for having first been conducted in Japan here. The temple was once quite large, with a central tower, three-sided main temple building, and encircling galleries, but most of the temple buildings were lost in fire due in the Kamakura period due to lightning strikes. The current main temple building was reconstructed in the Edo period.

Spot details

Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Asuka 682 map map Map
[Apr.-Sep.]9:00-17:30(Last entry17:15)
[Oct.-Mar.]9:00-17:00(Last entry16:45)
open everyday
[General] 350yen
[Junior and senior high school students] 250yen
[Elementary School Students] 200yen
Parking Lot
Credit Card
Not available
English Menu
Average budget
[Lunch] 1-1,000yen
Estimated stay time
30-60 minutes

Information Sources:  NAVITIME JAPAN

Articles about this spot


  • Be careful with route recommended by Googel Map if you drive there
    5.0 Reviewed : 2019.09.29
    No need for me to emphasize “the oldest Budda statue” part of this temple.Some tips on driving there if you use Google map:This temple is in a small village and near quite large rice fields. While...
  • Oldest statue of Buddha
    4.0 Reviewed : 2018.09.25
    This temple contains an ancient wooden statue of Buddha.Photos are allowed.In the courtyard there is also an old bell and you are allowed to strike it once per person.Peaceful atmosphere.
  • The oldest Buddha statue in Japan
    4.0 Reviewed : 2018.04.27
    This is impressive place, considering that the Buddha statue has survived the first shrine, and a new shrine was built around the surviving statue.

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