What to Expect
Nara was the Imperial capital of Japan between 710 and 784 A.D. The city has many places of historical interest including Nara Park, Todaiji temple, Kasuga shrine, and Kofukuji Temple.
The Great Buddha Hall, the main hall of the Todaiji Temple, is one of the largest wooden structures in the world and the seated figure inside is the world's largest bronze image of Buddha.
Guess how high the right hand of the gread image of Buddha is ?
Guess how many snail-shaped hairs Buddha has ?
Kasuga Taisha Shrine is the largest Shinto shrine in Nara. This shrine is famous for its 2,000 stone lanterns and its 1,000 bronze lanterns which stand on both sides of the approach to the shrine. The lanterns are lit twice a year on the night of the Setsubun Festival and August 15.
Naramachi is an area which flourished as a prosperous town with many businesses and shops including ink production, linen textile, sake brewing and the like. The area still retains the nostalgic scenery of people's lives in the 19th century, especially in the narrow lanes winding around the area. Nara Craft Museum has a wide range of traditional Nara crafts such as itto-bori (wood carving), Akahada-yaki (ceramics), calligraphy brushes and inks.
You can enjoy Japanese foods such as kaiten-zushi (converyor belt sushi restaurant), eel and Japanese sweets for lunch.
In Nara Park, there are about 1,200 tame deer. Visitors can feed the deer with crackers sold at stalls in the park. They are believed to be divine messengers of Kasuga Shrine. The deer love the crackers so don't be surprised if you get surrounded by them!
Kofukuji Temple, which in 2010 celebrated the 1,300th anniversary of its founding, is famous for the Five Story Pagoda, the Nan-endo (Southern Octagonal Hall）and the statue of Ashura. The beautiful five-story pagoda is about 50 meters in height, the second highest pagoda in Japan.
By the way, have you ever heard of the statue of Ashura in the Kofkuji National Treasure Museum ?
Ashura is one of the most famous statues in Japan, especially very popular among women. Visitors will be able to see Ashura on open display, not behind a glass case.
Why don't you come see the Great image of Buddha, the tame deer and the statue of Ashura ?