‘Muro-ji’ Buddhist temple in the depths of the mountain in Nara Prefecture is also known as ‘Nyonin-Koya’ meaning ‘Mount Koya’ temple for women.

‘Muroji’ temple was built by the Imperial edit in the last part of the Nara period in the 8th century. This is a typical mountain temple with various kinds of religious buildings on the route from the foot to the breast of Mt. Muro. The five-storied pagoda in the picture is a symbol of the temple and is the second oldest one after that of Horyuji temple, as well as the smallest among the open-air pagodas designated as a national treasure in Japan. Visitors across the world are inevitably charmed with the graceful appearance with bright red lacquered eaves. As a mountain seminary for the Buddhist priesthood, this religious institution had worked since its completion and the first-class Buddhist art of the Heian period can be found here. ‘Koyasan’ in Wakayama Prefecture, the main temple of Shingon esoteric Buddhism, used to be closed to women, while this temple welcomed any visitors regardless of sex, accordingly ‘Muroji’ is called ‘Nyonin-Koya’ meaning women’s ‘Mount Koya’ temple.

78 Murou, Murou-ku, Uda-gun, Nara


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