Holy deer - always hungry
There are about 1200 deer running free in the temple-districts of Nara and they are considdered to be holy animals.There are a lot of food-stands where you can buy some cookies for them. In my personal experience it is best to keep watching the other tourists to do so, because once that you have given a single cookie to one of them they will follow you and hit you with their head for more and more cookies and it will be very hard to get rid of them, except that you are able to escape to one of the temples, that has some steps that these deer cannot step over.
The Great Buddha Hall 1
The Great Buddha Hall was originally built in 749 after the Great Buddha stautue was cast in bronze. The hall was originally larger, but various reconstructions after 1180 have brought the Hall to its present smaller size.
The Great Buddha (Diabutsu)
The Great Buddha contained within the Diabutsu-den is one of the largest bronze figures in the world and originally cast in 746. The present statue, recast in the Edo period, stands at over 16m high and consists of 437 tonnes of bronze and 130 kg of gold. Over the centuries, the statue took quite a beating from earthquakes and fires, losing its head a couple of times.
Todaiji Temple is by far the most famous and most-visited site in Nara! For many it's worth the trip just to see the Daibutsu (Buddha statue), which is the largest in Japan, but there are many other equally impressive features of the temple.
It was first built in 762 as the head Buddhist temple in all of Japan and flourished during the years when Nara (Heijo-kyo) was the nation's capital. In fact, the capital was actually moved due to the growing power of local Buddhist temples, with Todaiji being one of the most powerful and influential. In order to maintain control, the Imperial Court moved their capital to Nagaoka and then to Kyoto and temples were not allowed to be built close to the city center for many years.
From the gate to the temple, Todaiji is an amazing place that has certainly earned its status as one of Japan's top attractions!
Entrance is 500 yen.
NARA - THE ANCIENT CITY (under construction)
"ONLY A DAY IN NARA"
NARA was our side trip from Kyoto. We spent merely a day there and visited some of the sights. Nara is a deer place and it also houses the biggest Buddha. Famous for its Tea Porridge, by all means, visit Nara.
"SOMETHING ABOUT NARA"
"Located almost at the center of the Japanese archipelago, Nara Prefecture is an inland prefecture surrounded by the four prefectures of Osaka to the west, Kyoto to the north, Wakayama to the south and Mie to the east. Nara, with a total population of some 1.44 million, has a diversified geography, a plane to the north and the Kii Mountain Range, or 'the Roof of Kinki (or Osaka Area)' to the south. Approx. 60% of the prefectural area is occupied by forest. Its main industries are textiles, timber and lumber.
Nara occupies an important position in the history of Japan; it is said that the first state was located in Nara. Nara is also a home of various World Heritage sites such as Todaiji Temple, Horyuji Temple, and others including numerous Buddhist art and architecture classified as National Treasures and Important Cultural Asset.
The ancient capital, Nara Heijokyo, established in 710 A.D. and modeled on Changan, Capital of Tang Dynasty China, was an international city, designated by World Heritage as a historical asset. Nara will soon celebrate the 13th centennial anniversary of its founding. A city plan is being undertaken with 'history', 'culture' and 'friendship exchange' as key words, looking forward to the next 100 years or 1,000 years to come." - Extracted from a very good Nara Weblink.