This is part 2 of the Ikaruga Town photo blog. Last time, I showed you in detail how to find the Pokemon Manholes that were recently installed in this town to boost tourism.
Today, I won't do much talking (or at least try not to), as I show you around the Horyuji Complex.
I know Japan still hasn't opened up travel yet, so I hope this blog post will motivate you to stop by when you finally have a chance in the future! I want to be optimistic and say NEAR future... but if you follow me on twitter, you probably know that Japan's really lagging behind on vaccines and getting COVID19 cases down... so...
I hope you enjoy these pictures!
This is the main entrance (from the south) into the complex. There are side entrances as well from both the east and the west side.
The grounds itself is free to enter, but if you want to go into the main complex to see some of the buildings up close, you will need to pay a fee to get in. The fee also includes entry into an artifacts museum (which is within the grounds) and another smaller (relative to the giant that's this place) temple out the east side entrance/exit.
For now, let's enjoy the grounds!
A closer look at the entrance.
A look inside and out from the gates.
I know it doesn't look big from my images, but trust me when I say the grounds are almost never-ending. Remember, this part is only the entrance. We haven't even stepped inside yet.
That's one of the side paths. It leads out towards the east entrance. The west entrance is equally as long, may a bit shorter... But... You see how long that path spans? This complex is really no joke.
A closer look at the main complex, looking into the inner grounds.
From this point on, if you go left from this picture, you will reach the paid area. If you go right, that's the exit from the paid area - so don't go that way if you want to go inside and avoid the extra walking.
Let's head inside then!
That's the ticket you get - excuse my ugly hand!
You can walk into this building and have a look around - but you cannot go upstairs.
Same with this building above - you can go inside it. This building is where you would pray if you would like to do that. There's also a small stall that sells temple things - like lucky charms, etc.
I tried my best to capture all the buildings with my phone camera. I hope I did a good job.
Now, let's head back out and go towards the artifact museum.
I overheard that the building on the right of my picture here used to be quarters for monks in training? I could be wrong since I wasn't really listening to the tour guide that was guiding this couple nearby, but I think that's what I remember hearing.
The museum isn't far from here.
Unfortunately you aren't allowed photos once you're in the museum area, but the path to the building is still a little ways away. The path leads into the garden and it is very well kept!
In we go!
Here's actually the building where the museum is:
Unfortunately at this point, I'm not allowed to take any more photos. The museum itself is pretty heavily guarded. Not... like, there's lots of guards, but there's always one or two people watching from afar.
There are a lot of interesting artifacts from the Asuka and Nara Period if that's your jam. They're all pretty cool to see, but it's not my cup of tea. So off I went towards the east entrance to find the third area I can enter with my ticket.
The walk out the east entrance is very interesting.
The walls all seem to be quite aged. So much so that they need to boosted up by wooden beams. I think this gives the area is a bit of character. I quite enjoyed it.
So last but not least, the last entry point.
It was actually free to enter when I went. They were in the middle of renovations, and it doesn't seem like people stroll through to this side. So the monk/priest was very kind and told me where it would a good spot to take pictures, etc.
It's less exciting to see since a lot of it is closed off... but the building is interesting enough, I guess. But yeah... that's it.
I do recommend stopping by if you're not all shrine'd and temple'd out during your travels. I've been to hundreds of these shrines & temples myself now, but the size of Horyuji is a feat in itself. Also if you like to be away from the crowds in Nara Park or in Kyoto, this town would be a great place to visit for half a day or more if you just want to take it slowly.
Anyway, as always - thanks for visiting! :)