Hoki-ji Temple (Sanju-no-to,location,history)

Hoki-ji Temple, Sanju-no-to

The information about Hoki-ji Temple is presented here. Hoki-ji Temple was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in 1993 as a “Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area”. Excavations at Hoki-ji Temple were conducted after 1960, and the remains of Kondo (main hall), Kodo (lecture hall), and other structures were discovered. In the past, Kondo (main hall) was built on the west side and Hoto (pagoda) on the east side, which is called “Hokkiji-style layout of temple buildings.

【Hoki-ji Temple Location Map & Directions】

Address: 1873 Okamoto, Ikaruga-cho, Ikoma-gun, Nara Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Hokiji-mae bus stop (about 2 minutes on foot), JR Horyuji Station (about 40 minutes on foot)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: 8:30-17:00 (February 22th-November 3rd), 9:00-16:30 (November 4th-February 21st)
Closed: open year round

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】

Individual: Adults 300 yen, Child 200 yen

【Hoki-ji Temple History】

The site of Hoki-ji Temple (法起寺) was built was the site of Okamoto-no-miya (palace), where Prince Shotoku-taishi, prince of the 31st Emperor Yomei, delivered a lecture on Hokkekyo (the Lotus Sutra) in 606. Excavations have revealed the remains of a hottate-bashira (pillar), a pillar hole dug directly into the ground without laying a foundation stone, and a stone-lined rainfall gutter. Hoki-ji Temple is said to have been founded on February 22th, 622, when Prince Shotoku-taishi, on the occasion of his death, ordered his eldest son, Yamashiro-no Oe-no-Oh, to convert the palace of Okamoto-no-miya into a temple. It is said that Yamashiro-no Oe-no-Oh donated 12 towns in Oyamato Province (Nara) and 30 towns in Omi Province (Shiga). Incidentally, Hoki-ji Temple was called “Okamoto-dera Temple”, “Okamoto-ni-dera Temple”, “Ikejiri-dera Temple”, and “Ikejiri-ni-dera Temple”. Hoki-ji Temple was one of the seven temples founded by Prince Shotoku-taishi, along with Horyu-ji Temple, Shitenno-ji Temple, Chugu-ji Temple, Chugu-niji Temple, Tachibana-dera Temple, Hachioka-dera Temple (Koryu-ji Temple), Katsuragi-ji Temple, and Katsuragi-niji Temple. Ikejiri-ni-dera is mentioned as one of the seven temples founded by Prince Shotoku-taishi in the “Horyuji Engi” of 747. In 638, the monk Furyu-sojo built Kondo for Prince Shotoku-taishi and created a statue of Mairoku Bosatsu. It is said that in 685, the monk Keishi-sojo initiated the construction of Hoto (three-story pagoda), and in March 706, he built the base of Hoto (three-story pagoda). Sanju-no-to (three-story pagoda) was built in 708. It is said that in addition to Kondo and Sanju-no-to (three-story pagoda), Kodo (lecture hall) and Chu-mon Gate were also built during the Asuka period (592-710). At Horyu-ji Temple, Kondo was built on the east side and Hoto (five-story pagoda) on the west side, but at Hoki-ji Temple, Kondo was built on the west side and Hoto three-story pagoda) on the east side, which is called “Hokkiji-style layout of temple buildings. Hoki-ji Temple declined during the Heian period (794-1185) and came under the control of Horyu-ji Temple. During the Kamakura period (1185-1333), Sanju-no-to (three-story pagoda) and Kodo (lecture hall) were repaired. It is said that the repair of Sanju-no-to (three-story pagoda) was completed in 1262. Hoki-ji Temple is said to have declined during the Muromachi period (1336-1573). It is said to have been hit by a military fire during the Sengoku period (1493-1590). In the Edo period (1603-1868), only Sanju-no-to (three-story pagoda) remained. After that, Kodo (lecture hall) was rebuilt in 1694, and Seitendo was built in 1863.
*reference・・・Hoki-ji Temple website

【Hoki-ji Temple Highlights (May be undisclosed)】

★Sanju-no-to (three-story pagoda, 三重塔, National Treasure) was built in 708. Sanju-no-to is said to be the oldest sanju-no-to in Japan. Sanju-no-to is about 24 meters high and is said to be the largest sanju-no-to in Japan, except for To-to (Sanju-no-to) of Yakushi-ji Temple, which appears to be a Rokuju-no-to (six-story pagoda). The first, second, and third stories of Sanju-no-to are said to be about the same size as the first, third, and fifth stories of Goju-no-to (five-story pagoda) at Horyu-ji Temple.
★According to the Munafuda, Kodo (lecture hall, 講堂) was rebuilt on the site of the former Kodo in March 1694. Kodo used to house the statue of Juichimen Kannon (Eleven-faced Kannon) created in the Heian period (794-1192), but it was moved to a storage room. Around Kodo, stones remain that are said to be the foundation stones of the former Kodo.
★Seitendo (聖天堂) was built in February 1863 at the request of the monk Junko. Seitendo houses the main statue of Kangiten. Seitendo was built on the site of Kondo.
法起寺見どころ (Hoki-ji Temple Highlights)

【Flower Calendar (cherry blossoms, etc )】

★The best time to see cosmos (コスモス) is from mid-October to early November. About 20,000 square meters of fallow land around Hoki-ji Temple are planted with cosmos, with purple, pink, and white flowers blooming. Cosmos Festa is held when the cosmos are at their best, and events such as stage performances are held. (Confirmation required).
(The best time to see the plants depends on the climate of the year.)

【Telephone (Please refrain from making phone calls.)】

Tel: +81-745-75-5559

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended walking route from Hoki-ji Temple is via Chugu-ji Temple to Horyu-ji Temple. Like Hoki-ji Temple, Horyu-ji Temple is a World Heritage Site, and its highlights include the five-story pagoda.

【Remarks(access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】
If you plan to visit Hoki-ji Temple, be sure to check the latest information.


  1. 柳生一刀石
  2. 若草山
  3. 吉野山