Unforgettabble Visit to Magnificent Todaiji Temple (Japan)

Kaidanin Temple

 

Todaiji, which means the great eastern temple in English, is one of the most famous temples in japan. It becomes the landmark of Nara city. Built in 752, the temple is the head of all Buddhist temples across japan. The Buddhists went so powerful at that time and forced the government to move the capital in 784 from Nara to Nagaoka.

Todaiji temple consists of many buildings. The Daibutsuden or its main hall is the largest building in the world made from wood. It is now only two-thirds of the size of the original temple’s hall due to the reconstruction in 1692. In this hall, you will see one of the largest Buddha statues in japan. The seated Buddha is 15 meters in tall and made of bronze. The statue is placed between two Bodhisattvas and it represents Vairocana. Some Buddha statues with smaller size are also displayed there. This hall has a popular tourist attraction in the form of a hole in a pillar. The size of the hole is the same as the Buddha’s nostril. Locals believe that you will get enlightenment in your afterlife if you can move through it.

Before entering the Todaiji temple, you will find the Nandaimon Gate. It is a big wooden gate that is guarded by two statues. The statues represent Nio Guardian Kings. They both along with the gate become the Japan’s national treasure. In the temple, you will often find some deer come from the Nara Park which is located not far from there. You can feed the deer with special crackers which are sold for about 150 yen.

Other Interesting Building on Todaiji Temple Complex

1. Todaiji Museum

Todaiji Museum

Todaiji Museum

The museum is located on the main way to the Temple’s Hall, near the Nandaimon gate. The ticket is 500 yen but if you want to enter the museum and the Daibutsuden Hall, you have to pay 800 yen. The museum often held interesting exhibitions showing the religious and cultural art treasures of the temple.

2. Nigatsudo Hall

Nigatsudo Hall

Nigatsudo Hall

To reach the Nigatsudo Hall, you need to walk to the eastern hill from the Daibutsuden Hall. Because of the location, this building offers a beautiful view of Nara City from the balcony. It also held Omitzutori ceremony on March which makes it a good time to visit the place. Walking from the Daibutsuden hall to Nigatsudo Hall, you will pass a beautiful and quiet street. The road consists of stones flanked by old walls on both sides.

3. Kaidanin Temple

Kaidanin Temple

Kaidanin Temple

The temple was originally built in the 8th century. This one of the most important buildings in Todaiji temple has been rebuilt during the Edo era. In the temple, you can see the statue on four heavenly kings who often called Shitenno.

4. Site of Former Pagoda

Actually, there are two pagodas on each side of the Daibutsuden Hall. Their height is about 100 meters. However, they no longer exist in the temple complex. The government is working to rebuild the building. It will be very nice to see the pagodas and they will bring back the former glory of the Todaiji temple.

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