¥146 million raised in crowdfunding for UNESCO-designated Horyuji temple

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Horyuji temple in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture

Horyuji temple in the town of Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, raised about ¥146 million through crowdfunding from June to July, more than seven times the target of ¥20 million.

The UNESCO World Heritage site began soliciting donations on June 15 to cover costs to prune trees and repair undesignated cultural properties in preparation for next year’s 30th anniversary of UNESCO listing.

The number of group visits to the temple, including school excursions, has significantly declined, and revenue from admission fees has plummeted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The target amount was surpassed in half a day, and more than ¥100 million was raised in less than 10 days.

According to the crowdfunding platform’s website, 7,449 people donated money by 11 p.m. on Friday, when the donation period ended.

According to the temple, more than ¥150 million, including donations paid into the temple’s bank account, was raised, and the total amount will be announced on the website on or after Aug. 6.

“I’m grateful to the many people who wish to protect Horyuji and help pass it on to future generations,” said Horyuji chief steward Shobo Ono. “I realized once again the responsibility of the temple.”