This temple dates to the early 7th century, and its pagoda is said to be the oldest wooden structure in the world. An octagonal-shaped building called the yumedono, or “hall of dreams” houses a statue of Guan Yin called Guze Kannon, “Saviour of the World.” This image, believed to be a likeness of Prince Shōtoku Taishi, was wrapped up and hidden for over a thousand years, until the Meiji government allowed the American Orientalist Ernest Fenollosa to open it. It has always been considered a very powerful hibutsu. Now, it is displayed twice a year: April 11-May 18 in the spring; and October 22-November 22 in the fall.

Hōryūji and the Yumedono

in Nara

The “Hall of Dreams”