Friday, August 16, 2013

Chasing Sakura - Japan (21) - Nara: Todai-ji Temple (東大寺)

"Todai-ji (東大寺, "Great Eastern Temple") 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."  --- Japan Guide

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You can already tell this place is ancient (1,200+ years!) by the look of the wood.
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"Todaiji's main hall, the Daibutsuden (大仏殿, "Big Buddha Hall") was the world's largest wooden building until 1998.  The present reconstruction (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

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The current building was finished in 1709,
and although immense—57 m long and 50 m wide—
it is actually 30% smaller than its predecessor. 
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Buddha Vairocana
A national treasure of Japan
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A scaled replica of the former Todai-ji Temple
This project nearly bankrupted Japan's economy, consuming most of the available bronze of the time.
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This pillar with a hole is a popular attraction inside the temple.
The hole is
the same size as the Daibutsu's nostril.
It is said that those who can squeeze through this opening will be granted enlightenment in their next life.


I didn't attempt this... it looks like it's only for people with good dexterity
I will probably get stuck
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A lot of people were rubbing / touching this statue
They say your pain will go away by touching the respective spots of the statue

There seems to be even more deer gathered around the Todai-ji Temple - probably because there are more tourist with deer snacks here :)


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The roast yam smelled so good!  I resisted since I am going to have my lunch then... it's quite expensive anyway!


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