Built more than 1,600 years ago, this major Buddhist temple is today best known for its Jian Zhen Memorial Hall, dedicated to a Tang dynasty abbot of the temple, Jian Zhen (688-763), who in 742 was invited to teach in Japan. After five unsuccessful attempts to cross the ocean in a wooden boat, Jian Zhen finally made it to Japan in 753, old and blind. He spent the next 10 years introducing Chinese Buddhism, medicine, language, and architecture to the Japanese. The Jian Zhen Memorial Hall, built in 1974, is modeled after the main hall of the Toshodai Temple in Nara, Japan, which Jian Zhen built. A cedar statue of the teacher stands in the hall and there are still religious and cultural exchanges between Nara and Yangzhou.

South of the temple is Ping Shan Tang (Mountain Flattening Hall), where famous Song dynasty writer Ouyang Xiu (1007-72) came to drink wine and write poetry when he was governor of Yangzhou. From here, his perspective was on the same level as the nearby hills, hence the hall's name.