The family temple of the influential Fujiwara family, Kōfuku-ji was originally established in Kyōto in 669 to pray for the clan leader's recovery from an illness. It moved together with the capital to Heijō-kyō in 710.
At the height the the Fujiwara power, it was considered one of the 4 great temples of the Nara period (710-794), then of the 7 great temples of the Heian period (794-1185). It then consisted of about 175 buildings, but only a few of them have survived the test of time.
The most interesting are the five-story pagoda (五重塔, gojunotō) first built in 725 by the Empress Kōmyō, then restored in 1426, and the three-storey pagoda (三重塔, sanjunotō) constructed in 1143.
Opening Hours & Admission
Kofukuji is open all year-round. The National Treasure Museum and Eastern Golden Hall are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admisssion is respectively ¥600 and ¥300. A combined ticket costs ¥800.
How to get there
Todaiji is located at the western extremity of Nara Park, 500 m east of Kintetsu Nara Station (5 minutes' walk) or 1.5 km from JR Nara Station (15-20 minutes' walk).
Map of attractions in Nara