Todaiji temple

by Mouloud - Japan Local Guide

We continue our walk near Nara Park after Kofukuji Temple and the Prefectural Government Office. We now go to Todaiji Temple, which belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage. It is a 20 minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station. We walk and at our left, a path leads us to Nandaimon, literally the South Great Portal.

Todaiji is a buddhist temple, or better: a complex which makes Nara famous all around the World, especially for its Great Buddha. This Buddha is made from bronze, is 15 meters tall, weighs 300 tons and it is the biggest sitting Buddha in Japan. The temple was founded on the 8th century to protect the capitale by Emperor Shōmu. With 467 current billions yen (4,5 billions USD), it almost took all Japanese financial ressources at that time. On 5 millions inhabitants, 2,6 millions Japanese people worked on it, closer or farer. Emperor Shōmu wanted to build a strong State with Buddhism religion as its basis.

The main building, Daibutsuden, is 57 meters wide and is so the widest wooden building in the World. Furthermore, it is a third smaller than the original building, amazing! A long ago, there were also two seven storied pagodas 100 meters high to its left and right but they are no more. What a pity! They would have been great to visit.

Enter and you have the majestic Great Buddha, Many other gods surround him and offer us their protection.

  • Todaiji temple
  • Todaiji temple
  • Todaiji temple
  • Todaiji temple
  • Todaiji temple
 

The thing to do if you have kids or if you are thin (I need to improve myself lol), it is the pillar with a hole on its base to the right of the great Buddha. It is said to have the same size as one nostril of Buddha and that passing through get you luck. You know what you need to do! Haha! I did not try yet even after more than 10 years in Kansai…

  • Todaiji temple
  • Todaiji temple
  • Todaiji temple
  • Todaiji temple
  • Todaiji temple
 

And here we go, you finished to visit the Daibutsuden! When you are done, you go out and you have two choices. You can change your way to Kasuga-taisha or to go further in Todaiji complex. Many path go through Nara Park to the mountain to lead you to other Todaiji buildings, at the end: Nigatsudo and Sangatsudo from where you have a view of all Nara. Pictures of Nigatsudo during the Mizutori ceremony follow… I promise you I will return there to have better pictures!

As you wish, take your time to visit the entire Buddhist complex Todaiji with the Daibutuden, or visit it as a set with other Nara monuments. I am waiting for you!

 

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Mouloud

Local Guide

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