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Shoso-in treasure house

Shosoin treasure houseMap around Nara ParkShoso-in is a wooden treasure house, and is located about 300 meters north of Daibutsuden in Todaiji.
In Japanese, it is pronounced as "Shoosooin".

This is one of 9 constructions of "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara" designated as a World Heritage Site.

Originally, it was a warehouse of Todaiji.
It is said that it was built around 756, and the width is about 33 meters, the depth is about 9.4 meters, and the height is about 14 meters.

The most distinctive feature of Shoso-in is the special construction called "Azekura".
The body of the building is constructed by combination of triangular wooden bars, and it is like a log house.
And the floor is elevated about 2.7 meters above the ground.
The building has three rooms inside.

In 756, Emperor Shomu who built Todaiji was dead.
His wife, Empress Komyo, housed hundreds of her husband's belongings and collections in this warehouse.
And later, many treasures of Todaiji were also housed.

The treasures include not only Japanese craftworks and documents but also many valuable artifacts from ancient China, Central Asia and Persia. The total number of the treasures is over 9,000.
So it is sometimes said that here is the eastern end point of Silk Road.

All treasures were moved into new two warehouses in 1963.
These has been closed to the public, but only a few dozen of them are exhibited at Nara National Museum for only a few weeks in autumn every year.

Shoso-in has been managed by Imperial Household Agency, and the external viewing is allowed. (But we are not allowed to approach.)

How to get to here

On foot

About 5 minutes walk from Daibutsuden in Todaiji.




Shoso-in
Shoso-in
Photo by Railstation.net
Shoso-in

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