Yakushiji Temple is located five minutes on foot from Nishinokyo Station. It was built in 680 by the command of Emperor Tenmu. At the back of the vermillion-lacquered corridor, To-to and Sai-to pagodas stand. To-to (East Pagoda) is a national treasure which has been preserved for more than 1,300 years without damage, even though there were several fires in the temple compound. Sai-to (West Pagoda) was burned down in the 16th century, the Warring Sates period, and rebuilt only in 1981. Comparing the old To-to and beautifully vermillion-lacquered Sai-to is interesting.
Toshodai-ji Temple to the north of Yakushiji was built during the Heian period (794-1192) by Ganjin, a Chinese Buddhist priest who came to Japan, as a school for priests to study religious precepts.
Both Yakushiji and Toshodaiji are designated World Heritage sites.