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.
The giant temple-guards of Todaji Temple
are looking very grim in order to protect the temple against bad spirits and ghosts and in my last photograph you can see the giant size of them against the small tourists passing by them while entering the temple: these wooden sculptures date back to the year 1199 and are about 8,5 meters high.
In my 2nd photo : the temple-guard is standing on the head of a bad creature
The octagonal lantern of Todaiji Temple
is 4,62 meters high and dates back to the 8th century. It is considdered a national treasury of Japan and part of the Unesco World-heritage of Nara.
In my 4th photo: a vase inside the temple
and my 5th photo : one of the large pillars holding the whole construction of the wooden building.
Once again I dont remember all the interesting details of these wonderful temples because most of the time I was trying to get the best photos from different angles and did not have enough time to always listen to our tourguide. And it was also heavily raining, but at least these temples have a lot of arcades, where you can find shelter and walk easily without getting wet.
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.
Take a look at my 4th photograph in order to realize the giant size of these Buddha-statues in comparison to somebody standing in front of it on the left of my picture.
This is the largest Buddha-statue made of bronze, it has a weight of 452 tons, a hight of 16 meters and including the basement it is more than 30 meters high.
You will find it inside the biggest wooden building on earth : 57 x 50 meters wide and 50 meters high, it was built in the year 1708.
This Binzuru is a wooden sculpture dating back to the 18th century. Binzuru is said to have excelled in the mastery of occult powers and it is commonly believed in Japan that who-ever rubs his hand on a part of the sculpture of Binzuru and then rubs that same part of his/her body as well, his ailment in this part of the body will disappear.
Just as huge gothic cathedrals mark the power of the church in medieval Europe, so too does the Todaiji Temple, one of the world's largest wooden building enclosing the world's largest bronze sculpture, mark the ascendancy of Buddhism in Nara-era Japan. Constructed in the 8th century, the site has been ravaged by fires and earthquakes, so very little of the temple is original, the the buddha itself has survived (without its gold leaf). Both the building and the buddha are sites to behold!
While this is one place where you won't see any deer, the Todaiji Temple (like the rest of Nara) is not without its little fun quirks. One of the columns in back of the buddha has a tunnel cut through its base, allowing children to crawl through it (and sometimes small adults). So, while the kids are occupied, you can contemplate the buddha, its massive size and its beauty as a work of art. You can gaze at the structure's architecture and study the 1:50 scale model of the original temple grounds. And you can walk around the grounds. This is a great place!
Todaiji was constructed in 752 as the main temple of all japanese Buddhist temples. Soon its importance increased that much, that the capital was moved from Nara to Nagaoka in 784 in order to lower its political influence.
Todaiji hosts Japan's largest Buddha statue and is also the world's largest wooden building,although the present reconstruction of 1692 is only two thirds of the original size.
Nara is located less than one hour from Kyoto and Osaka. Due to its past as the first permanent capital of Japan, it hosts many historic treasures, including some of Japan's oldest Buddhist temples.
The big Buddha Statue "Daibutsu"is one of the most revered statues in Japan.
Todaiji or "the Great Eastern Temple" is said to be the largest wooden building on earth and it is truly very big. It's one of the main attractions so you must go and see for yourself!
The main hall the "Daibutsu-den" is the home of a huge bronze buddha statue but there are also other statues, like two bodhi-satvas and four guardian statues. Outside, on the porch there's another, smaller, buddha statue, a wooden one, with healing powers. You should rub the knee of this buddha asking for help and then take the healing you received to the spot that's troubeling you. Worked for my aching knee, at least for the rest of the day...
This is a huge buddha statue the Daibutsu, in fact, it's Japan's largest. It has suffered hardships during its long history: the head fell off in an earthquake and the hand melted in a fire. If you look closely, you note there's a slight difference in the colour of the renewed parts.