Karita Yakushi Jokoji

Travel Information

Karita Yakushi Jokoji(雁田薬師浄光寺) is one of the oldest temples in Nagano Prefecture. It was established in 809 at the time of the first Shogun marching to the East. The main hall was constructed in 1407. It is one of the best structures of this time remaining today.

Visitor's Info.
There are parking and restroom.

0. at Nagano Station.
1. use Nagano Line to Obuse station.
2. walk east.

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Detailed Travel Guide

Karita Yakushi Jokoji
According to the biography of Jokoji Temple, the beginning of its history started when Genmei, a disciple of the founder of Soto Buddhism sect Dogen, built the worshipping hall named Serakuin and enshrined Bhaisajyaguru in the hall during the age of the Emperor Syomu 730. Later in 809, during the conquest of the Eastern part of Japan, Shogun Sakanoueno Tamuramaro had one of the disciples of Kukai, who is the founder of the Shingon Buddhism sect, established the building Yakushi-do which is the predecessor of the building reached by climbing up the stairs in front of you. According to the historical documents excavated in 1941 during the repair of the building, the current Yakushi-dou worshipping hall was found to have been built in 1408. It has now been designated as Important Cultural Assets. The architecture incorporates numbers of traditional techniques such as a thatched hip-and-gable roof, Kaeru-mata style bargeboard, and the ornamented corner joineries called Nuki without nails. In particular, the vivid mural in the worshipping hall and the interlocking wooden brackets called To-kyo are the signature architecture and have garnered high acclaim.