Shitennoji temple was established 1,400 years ago by pledge of Prince Shotoku Taishi as the first buddhist state-sponsored temple in Japan. The spacious temple grounds cover approximately 110,000 square meters, and feature the central gate, five-storied pagoda, golden pavilion, and lecture hall in a straight line from north to south, completely surrounded by a cloister hallway. In addition to the temple’s centralcomplex being one of Japan’s oldest architectural styles, it also houses various national artifacts that, at the time the temple was established, held as much cultural and historical significance as they do today. Northwest of the grounds is the 10,000 square meter wide and tranquil Hojo garden, featuring the treasured structures of the Yuyahojo and Rokkakutei – these too are cultural assets important to Japan. The garden overall envisions the buddhist image of the Sukhavati, referring to the western “Pure Land” of Amitabha in Mahayana Buddhism.