Category: Japan.

Yakushiji’s national treasure pagoda open for 1st time in 1,300 years

Inside the east pagoda of Yakushiji, a Buddhist temple in Nara. SANKEI

NARA — The three-layer east pagoda of Yakushiji, a Buddhist temple listed as a World Heritage site in Japan’s ancient capital of Nara, was opened to the public Tuesday for the first time since it was built some 1,300 years ago.

The national treasure pagoda in western Japan, often described as ‘‘frozen music’’ for its rhythmical appearance and beauty, will be open to general visitors through March 21 ahead of its major renovation around this summer.

During the renovation, which is expected to take eight years, visitors will not even be able to view the exterior of the tower.

A walkway and lighting was installed inside the first floor of the tower for the public viewing.

Visitors are able to see paintings of the imaginary flower called ‘‘hosoge’’ on the ceiling and allowed to touch the main pillar of the pagoda during the period.

‘‘I was amazed that such an old thing still exists today when I saw ‘hosoge’ on the ceiling which were drawn in painstaking detail,’’ said Kazunari Totsukawa, a 48-year-old office worker from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture.

Visitors must pay 500 yen in addition to the regular entrance fee to the temple.

During the viewing period, the west pagoda, which was rebuilt in 1981, is also open three times a day.

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Category: Japan