A Temple with the biggest and oldest cherry blossom in Nara
Butsuryu-ji temple in Nara was founded in 850 by Kenne, disciple of Kukai, the founder of the Singon sect. The temple is well known as the birthplace of “Yamato Tea”, a famous sort of Japanese tea. It is said that seeds of Yamato tea were conveyed to Japan by Kukai when he returned from China. From the seeds, Kenne cultivated tea plants within the temple’s compound. Then the tea spread throughout the country. A wild tea plant still remains in the area.
The temple has a stone chamber, designated an Important Cultural Property. Inside the stone chamber, there is a 5-story pagoda. There is also a thirteen-story stone pagoda, the fourth oldest stone lantern in Japan and a stone stairway with 200 stairs.
The cherry tree beside the stone steps is about 900 years old, the oldest cherry tree in Nara. A 16 m tall tree is said to be the biggest cherry tree in Japan. Every third Sunday of April, cherry tree viewing event is celebrated. In autumn, you can see blossoms of “higanbana” (cluster-amaryllis) on both sides of the stairway, creating a beautiful view.
Address : 1684 Haibaraakabane, Uda, Nara 633-0213
Access : 40-minute walk from Takai bus stop: Take Nara bus to Sonimura Yakuba from Haibara station on the Kintetsu Osaka line, then get off at Takai bus stop