Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Japan! April 18 Part 2 - Todaiji Temple

I have been predating these posts to match the days we traveled, it has been a month since I came home from my trip. I just pulled out my old photo album from my high school trip to Japan almost 24 years ago. I looked at the photos of my grandmother being chased by deer in Nara. And back then, I did visit Todaiji. Todaiji is a Buddhist temple which has the largest wooden structure in the world, known as Daibutsuden. Originally built in the 700's when Nara was the capital of Japan, it was damaged by earthquakes and fires, and rebuilt multiple times. The current structure is two-thirds the size of the original, which is hard to believe once you see it, and it houses an enormous bronze Buddha statue.

To get to Daibutsuden you pass through large wooden gates and walk a little ways alongside tourists, field trip groups, and more deer... to view Daibutsuden you pay a small fee (which keeps the deer out). The view is breathtaking! The wooden temple is beyond huge, and pristine. The Buddha inside is one of the largest in the world. The grounds are immaculate, yet it is not a place to linger as there are no benches and the stairs are clearly marked for no seating. Groups are meant to pass through to let more people in. Still, we enjoyed the grounds and took many photos on this weather-perfect day.


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