Eastern Pure Land

In 747 A.D. Shinyakushi-ji Temple was founded by the empress in hope that her husband, Emperor Shomu who had had the Great Buddha in Todai-ji built, would recover from his illness.

At the time of its construction it was big enough for 1,000 monks to live there. However, following natural disasters including a typhoon and a fire only the main hall remains.

Shinyakushi-ji Temple is dedicated to the Takushi Buddha, also known as Healing and Medicine Buddha.

Takushi Buddha practiced healing diseases, eliminating disasters, and achieving mental stability.

Those who pay a visit to Shinyakushi-ji Temple will be cured of their diseases and rid of their worries.


Shinyakushi-ji Temple is well-known for having the largest and oldest statues of the 12 Divine Generals in Japan. Upon entering the main hall from the well-lit garden, visitors will find in the dimness the gently illuminated statutes. The contrast between black and white in addition to their size and beauty are sure to inspire. The main hall is supported by thick wooden pillars (three shaku or approximately 90 cm in width) and beams which create an open atrium that extends the height of the high roof.

While the wonder of this wooden building is enough to be captivated by, the magnificence of the 12 Divine Generals cannot even be put into words. This alone is enough to make someone stand still in awe. The Yakushi Nyorai is in the center. The contrast between him and the 12 Divine Guardians who protect him is both artistic and mystical. The 12 Divine Generals each correspond to one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals. Visitors are able to pray to the guardian associated with their animal and Yakushi Nyorai in order to have their wishes granted. We hope that you will be able to make it to Shinyakushi-ji Temple at least once in order to come face to face with Yakushi Nyorai and the 12 Divine Generals, all national treasures.

Shinyakushi-ji Temple is located in Takabatake-cho.

In Takabatake-cho you can discover Nara for yourself through the historical streets that have been preserved.

You can view this highlight for yourself through the Takabatake-cho map on the homepage.