One of the places I was most excited to visit was Nara. To be honest, the only thing I knew about it was its famous deer. It wasn’t until we were walking towards Todai-ji Temple that I knew I underestimated it. Imagine a big park with UNESCO World Heritage Sites left and right all within walking distance of each other!
After our trip to the Yoshikien and Isuien Garden, we walked towards Todai-ji Temple. Before arriving at the temple, prepare your eyes to feast on the different sights going there. The long walk doesn’t seem too long when you’re enjoying what you’re seeing.
Nandaimon Gate of Todai-ji
A large wooden gate watched over by two fierce looking statues. Representing the Nio Guardian Kings, the statues are designated national treasures together with the gate itself. –Japan Guide
Todaiji is one of Japan’s most famous and historically significant temples and a landmark of Nara. The temple was constructed in 752 as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples of Japan and grew so powerful that the capital was moved from Nara to Nagaoka in 784 in order to lower the temple’s influence on government affairs.
Todaiji’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 houses one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha (Daibutsu). The 15 meters tall, seated Buddha represents Vairocana and is flanked by two Bodhisattvas. –Japan Guide
The Nigatsudo Hall is a short walk on the hill east of the Daibutsuden Hall and offers nice views of the city. –Japan Guide