Despite countless repairs over the centuries, the Toshodai-ji remains a shining example of architecture dating from the Nara period. It was built by the monk Ganjin (688-763), invited by Emperor Shomu in 759 to spread the teachings of Buddhism in Japan. The temple commemorates its founder by a statue, which is one of Japan's earliest examples of lacquerware. Other statues in the same style (Buddhas and the Goddess Kannon) can be seen in the Kon-do (designated a National Treasure).
8.30am-5pm (last admission 4.30pm) - Miedo hall: open 5-7 Jun