Koryuji temple [広隆寺]
Koryuji is a temple of Shingon Buddhism, one of major Japanese Buddhism schools.
"O" and "u" in the word is pronounced long, so it is read as "Kôryûji".
It is located about 1.5 km southwest of Myoshinji temple.
There is Toei Kyoto Studio Park just north of this temple.
Koryuji is the oldest temple in Kyoto.
It is said that this temple was founded in 603, but some say it was founded in 622.
The original temple was built by Hata Clan.
It is said that they came from China through Korea and had been naturalized as Japanese clan.
Prince Shotoku (573-621), who founded Japan's first constitutional form of government, gave sacred Buddha statues to the leader of Hata Clan, then it is said that he built this temple to enshrine them.
Koudou in Koryuji
Hokan-Miroku in Koryuji
In Koryuji, there are several Buddha statues, and all of them are designated as national treasures.
Two wooden Miroku-Bosatsu statues of them were probably given from Prince Shotoku.
Especially Miroku-Bosatsu statue named Hokan-Miroku (宝冠弥勒) is very famous.
It is said that the statue was created around 7th century.
It has been carved from a single piece of red pine wood, and is about 123 centimeters high.
It holds a thinking pose and its peaceful expression on its face sanctifies everyone's heart.
Karl Jaspers (1883-1969), a noted German philosopher, praised it highly.
Some say that the smile is Oriental "Mona Lisa" and the pose is Oriental "The Thinker".
Koryuji was destroyed by fire in 818 and 1150.
But, it is very miraculous that these statues and the other old articles still remain in spite of some accidents.
Many of the statues including Hokan-Miroku are displayed in the museum, Shin-Reihouden.
By the way, taking photos and movies in Koryuji is restricted.
When you want to take photos, please attend to it with care.
How to get here
By Randen tram (Kitano Line of Keifuku Electric Railway), about 12 minutes from Kitano-Hakubaicho to Uzumasa-Koryuji.
Then about 5 minutes walk from there.