The city of Nara is especially famous for being the home of many deer, that can be seen walking around all over the city. But that is not all Nara has to offer: there is also a famous shopping area called Higashimuki Shotengai, and there are a number of popular temples. The Todaiji Temple is one of the most famous landmarks in the Nara Prefecture. It is visited by people from Japan, as well as by people from all over the world and it is one of the country’s most visited temples. There are many famous features inside the Todaiji, with some open to the public. Here are some of those features that you will surely not want to miss.
The Great Buddha Hall is 47 meters high and was first built in the mid 8th century. It has burned down twice during times of war in Japan. The current Great Buddha Hall has been rebuilt 300 years ago, and is only 2/3 of its original size, but remains one of the largest wooden buildings in the world.
Inside the Great Buddha Hall, the temple’s most important statue is contained, the Great Buddha of Nara. The Great Buddha is the world’s largest bronze Buddha, standing at 15 meters tall. It represents the Buddha Vairocana, who is the Buddha that guides people to enlightenment.
The Hokkedo is famous for its collection of Buddhist statues, and most of them are now considered national treasures. Inside you can see the statue of Kannon that was made in the mid 8th century. Kannon is the Buddhist goddess of mercy, she has eight arms is said to be the saviour of suffering people.
The Kaidando is the place where initiation ceremonies are held. There are four heavenly kings in the building, who are protecting the four corners of the hall that were made around 1250 years ago.
The Shosoin is a treasure house containing many of Todaiji’s most valuable items, including the relics of Emperor Shomu. There are about 9,000 pieces of art, crafts and Buddhist objects in the collection, and many of these items are around 1200 years old. All these items have been carefully preserved and are in a good state considering their age.
The precinct of the Todaiji not only contains a number of beautiful structures and figures but also holds impact to the history of Japan. Make sure to stop by the Todaiji if you’re ever in the Nara area, and see the wonders of this temple!