Ikaruga is home to Hōryū-ji and Hokki-ji, ancient Buddhisttemples collectively inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage. Other ancient temples include Hōrin-ji, also in the vicinity of Hōryū-ji. The town was named after the Palace of Prince Shōtoku-Taishi, Ikaruga-no-Miya (Imperial Palace of Ikaruga, or Imperial House of Ikaruga), whose grounds were at Hōryū-ji, thus it is also called Ikaruga-dera (temple of Ikaruga).
As of November 30, 2006, the town has an estimated population of 28,685. The total area is 14.27 km2 (6 sq mi).