Todai-Ji Temple

Todai-Ji Temple with Forever Nomad

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the world’s largest wooden structures and is a must-see for anyone visiting this area of Japan. The temple was commissioned by Emperor Shomu in the 700s in an attempt to bring peace to a turbulent time. His infant son had died, a smallpox epidemic had ravaged the area, crops refused to grow, and a coup was attempted.

Todai-Ji Temple with Forever Nomad.

The main attraction is the Daibutsu-den or Hall of the Great Buddha which was cast in 752. Over the centuries fire and earthquakes have dislodged the head on the 16-meter-high statue; the current head was made in 1692. Search and find the pillar at the back of the hall that has a hole in the middle. It has been said that children who can fit through the hold are guaranteed enlightenment. In front of the hall stands a substantial bronze lantern that is one of the temple’s oldest treasures.

 Daibutsu-den or Hall of the Great Buddha

As you approach the temple you will see the Nandai-mon Gate. This towering wooden gate has two ferocious-looking statues guarding it that were carved in the 12th century.

These figures represent Njo Guardian Kings and are designated as national treasures along with the gate itself.

The Nandai-mon Gate.

If you want an incredible view of Nara, head over to the Nigatsudo Hall where you will also find beautiful carvings and a path to the Kasuga Taisha Shrine.

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Kristal Ham

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