Arcades are everywhere, so be prepared!
Always an arcade nearby, even in Nara. :)
They are often cute, colourful buildings full of people of all-ages. It is NECESSARY to every western tourist to visit at least 1 of these. Have some 100 JPY coins available.. there are much cute toys to be won! :-)
Big bronze Buddha
The Daibutsu of Nara is the largest bronze buddha. Most foreign people only know the Daibutsu of Kamakura.
The Daibutsu of Nara stands in de big hall of the Todaiji-temple This temple is in it;s turn the largest wooden building in the world. (for the largest wooden complex you'll have to be in Kyoto)
Kofukuji Temple: Old, Powerful and Tall
You can't miss Kofukuji Temple. If you're walking into Nara-koen Park from either of the train stations, it's the first tall pagoda you see -- after all, the associated pagoda is the second tallest in Japan. Built in 710, the Kofukuji Temple was associated with the Fujiwara family, the most powerful in Japan from 700 until the end of the Heian period in the 14th century. The pagoda is stupendous, climbing high above the hungry deer and screaming children.
I didn't see a way to enter the pagoda, and we opted to spend our temple time with an 8-year-old at the Todaiji Temple (because of the big buddha) so I can't tell you what the inside of the temple looked like. I'll save that for next trip!
Great Buddha hall
The big Buddha-Hall of Todaji Temple
dates back to the year 1708 and is considdered to be the biggest wooden building on earth : It is 57 meters long, 50 meters wide and 50 meters high and it was built in order to house the largest Buddha-sculpture on earth that was made of bronze, see it in my previous tip ! In my 2nd photo you can see the giant size of the entrance-gates of this hall.
Rudolph and Friends
Nara is an ancient city about 45 minutes by train from Osaka.
Officially, the city has a population of 370,000, but in reality, Nara forms the eastern limit of the Greater Osaka metropolis. One thing Nara doesn`t have (thankfully) is endless blocks of medium rise residential buildings and on the horizon, you can see mountains, not more buildings.
I have been there four times on day trips over the past three years. It`s a very green city and the perfect escape from the urban assault that is Osaka.
Oh, and there are deer everywhere too. Not all of them are as innocent as Bambi here and some will chase you for your food!
Nara has some impressive old Japanese architecture, including the world`s largest wooden structure and Japan`s tallest three-tiered pagoda.
There are plenty of wide open courtyards, ponds, trails, gardens and other features that make it possible to imagine the scene here in former times.