Murouji Temple

Five-Storied Pagoda (Stūpa)

National Treasure

At just 16.10 meters tall, this pagoda is both the smallest outdoor five-story pagoda in Japan and the second oldest after the pagoda at Horyuji Temple. Built in the early ninth century, it is roofed with cypress bark and topped with unusual canopy, as well as a water bottle ornament in the flask shape. This pagoda, a symbol of the natural and architectural beauty of Murouji Temple, is a memorial to the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni (Śākya-muni: a saint of Shakya tribe). It is especially stunning when framed by rhododendrons in spring and Japanese maple tree in autumn. In 1998, a typhoon caused a large tree to fall onto the pagoda, damaging it severely. Donations poured in from across Japan and overseas, not only from Buddhists but people of every faith, and the pagoda was restored over a two-year period.