Hōryūji and the Yumedono in Nara

The “Hall of Dreams”

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.

grounds of Hōryūji

Guze Kannon


roof finial of the


crowds at the Yumedono

Guze Kannon


viewing the hibutsu

Guze Kannon