Joruri-ji (浄瑠璃寺) dates back from the Nara period (8th century), but its founding date is not known. The first firm dates are from the construction of the first main hall in 1047. The current main hall is also very old, as it has been moved in 1157 to Joururi-ji. Its place and date of origin are not known. The building is located on the western bank of a small pond, as its principal deities are Lords of the Western Paradise. The three-storied pagoda has a similar history: it wasn't originally built here but was instead moved in 1178 from another temple of Kyoto city to Joruri-ji. The main hall and pagoda enshrine several important statues, most classified as cultural assets of Japan.
Due to its remote location in the mountains close to the border with Nara prefecture, Joruri-ji is not as popular as other mainstream places. It takes a 30 minutes bus ride from Kintetsu Nara station to reach the temple. There's only one bus every hour or so, which means that even on a weekday it can be packed during the high season. They even brought a special extra bus when I went there! "Not very popular" is thus a quite relative notion. Visiting this temple is usually paired with a visit to Ganzen-ji (岩船寺).
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Nearest location: Ganzen-ji 岩船寺 (1.3km)
External links: ウィキペディア, Wikipedia, Wikipédia, 京都風光, Satellite view, Map
Keywords: Japan, 日本, Japon, Kyoto, 京都, 南京都府, Southern Kyoto, 浄瑠璃寺, Joruri-ji, temple, 寺院, 仏閣