It's worth coming here especially if staying overnight in Nara. It's a short train ride from JR Nara although it's about a 30 minute walk from the train station in Ikaruga-cho (town) to the temple complex. By the train station exit is a tourist counter with very friendly staff. The counter is located by a window, so the staff will point you the route. It's very easy to find your way to the temple complex and back to the station as there are signs everywhere. The route on foot will take you through the town's local neighborhoods, which is quite interesting as it offers a glimpse of local life. I visited when the weather was cooler in late spring. So, this may not be as pleasant of an experience if you're visiting in the hot humid summer.
The temple complex was less crowded compared to Todai-ji when I visited. The majority of the visitors were local tourists. So, the place was quite peaceful and I had a relaxing time. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was founded by Prince Shotoku who propagated Buddhism in Japan. You can see his images in the museum within the grounds.
Horyu-ji houses the oldest wooden structures in the world, which are amazing. Looking at them and being surrounded by so much antiquity reminded me how truly amazing human civilization is.
I had a train bound for Kyoto to catch that afternoon and only spent a couple of hours there. Still, it was a wonderful way to spend a morning.
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