Gangōji Gokurakubō (courtesy of the tourist association of Nara City)

Pictures of noted places of Yamato(courtesy of Nara Prefectural Library and Information Center)

Gangōji Gokurakubō

Gangōji Gokurakubō is a temple in Chūin-chō, Nara. Its religion is the Shingonrisshū sect, which is one of the Buddhist sects. It was originally Hōkōji Temple (Asukaji Temple) built in Asuka — Yamato as it was known then, Nara as it is known today. When the capital was moved to Heijōkyō (This was the start of Nara Period), the temple was relocated as well and its name was changed into Gangōji Temple. In the golden ages, the temple covered most of the district of ‘Naramachi’ as it is known today. However, it went into a decline and was divided into three temples, Gokurakubō, Shōtōin and a temple with A five-storied pagoda as the central tower. In 1859, the temple with A five-storied pagoda was burnt down. In Gokurakubō, its zen meditation chamber and main temple are still in existence. Both of them are recognized as national treasures today. That is because they are made of wood coming from Nara Period and valuable ancient foundations.