Todai-ji – Buddhist temple complex in Nara

Todai-ji or the “Great Eastern Temple” is one of the most famous landmarks in Nara. It ranked highly on my list of “must visit” places in Japan and after being greeted on my arrival in Nara by tricky but cute deer I made my way quickly to Todaiji which was already a sight to behold before I even entered the grounds. The temple complex is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site as “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”, together with seven other sites including temples, shrines and places in the city of Nara.

Great Buddha Hall

Nandaimon gate was the first stop where I saw two not so friendly looking Nio Guardian Kings. As I walked along the path leading up the main temple I saw even more deer on the grounds of the temple and was really impressed with the gardens as I followed walked through the grounds snapping photos and getting lost in a sea of tourists on a beautiful September morning.

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Hundreds of tourists and guess who was the only black guy?

I then came up on the Daibutsuden or the “Great Buddha Hall” which is the largest wooden building in the world and houses the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha. There are various pamphlets to read and staff explaining Buddhism, it’s history in Japan, Nara as Japan’s capital and more.

Buddha Bless You

I highly recommend a visit Nara, especially Todai-ji. Nara is often overshadowed by Kyoto but can be easily reached from Osaka via the JR Yamatoji Line or from Kyoto via the JR Nara Line both free for holders of a JR Pass and taking less than an hour. While in Nara ask about the one day bus pass that allows tourists to take the city buses in-between attractions as not everyone will be able to manage all the walking.

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Hard to believe all the gates and buildings are made of wood

Below are a few more photos I took while visiting Todai-ji, feel free to ask any questions or leave a comment below.

[japan]

5 thoughts on “Todai-ji – Buddhist temple complex in Nara

  1. Nice post, and yes, Nara’s a great day trip in Kansai area. There’s a lot to do there – and even a nice place to go for a walk up into the foot hills as well! Of course, Nara being the old capital before Kyoto, it has a wealth of historical goodies in there.

  2. Some great pictures! Nara should be at the top of any must see list in Japan and is such an amazing place. Todai-ji (東大寺) is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its Great Buddha Hall is the largest wooden building in the world. It houses the world`s largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese as Daibutsu (大仏).

  3. I remember visiting Nara in the 1970s when I was studying in Japan. It left a deep impression of peace and beauty. The Buddha has a tremendous presence, and I remember the trees and yes, walking a long way. It’s a special place.

  4. Hi, Thanks for posting, Is it safe to travel to japan? not much clear safety information regarding traveling to japan in relation with Fukushima Nuclear Plant eventual contamination. Thanks. I would like to bring my daughter to visit japan this april

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