partially closed for refurbishment until 2020 - 8.30am-5pm (last admission 4.30pm)
This temple (680) belonging to the Hosso sect is one of the oldest and most sacred in the city. Badly damaged by fire in 973 and again in 1528, Yakushi-ji had to be reconstructed in its entirety, with the exception of the To-to, the East Pagoda. This three-storey structure (34m) looks to have six because of its intermediary canopies. The Kon-do, the main hall (1635), houses a large bronze triad of the Buddha Yakushi which dates from 697 and is highly representative of the naturalist style of the Chinese Tang dynasty. A 7C Sho Kannon of Indian influence is the centrepiece of the Toin-do, or East Pavilion (1285).