Japan 117 – Nara Park (奈良公園) & Todai-ji Temple (東大寺) @ Nara

Our day-5 of Japan trip started off at Nara, which is about 55 minutes by train from Osaka, using our JR Rail Pass. From the train station we were offered a free English speaking tour guide who are mostly Japanese students studying the English Language and wanted to use this opportunity to practice the language. We took the offer gladly and made our way on foot to meet our tour guide before the entrance of Nara Park (奈良公園). The park is home to hundreds of freely roaming deer. Considered in Shinto to be messengers of the gods, Nara’s nearly 1200 deer have become a symbol of the city and have even been designated as a natural treasure. I tried to feed some of them but I think they were too well fed and hardly turn their heads towards my hand. **Feeling unwanted** 🙁

Lazy deer didn’t want my food

Entrance to Todai-ji Temple

Anyway, apart from the deer, Todai-ji Temple (東大寺) is the main attraction of Nara. Todai-ji’s main hall, the Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall) is the world’s largest wooden building, despite the fact that the present reconstruction of 1692 is only two thirds of the original temple hall’s size. The massive building also houses one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha (Daibutsu). This temple is really huge and I had fun wandering around this building and watching how the Japanese practice their Buddhist faith. This temple built in 752 is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”, together with seven other sites including temples, shrines and places in the city of Nara. Entrance fee was ¥500 and definitely worth a half day trip to see this ancient city~!
The Big Buddha Hall
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The Big Buddha Hall

The Big Buddha Hall
The Big Buddha
Carving on the Lotus Plate

The original temple structure that was destroyed by fire

Japanese kids would crawl through the wooden pillar for good luck

During the good old days

For my other posts on Japan, please click here.

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