"Todaiji Temple" Nara Travelogue by sunnywong
Nara Travel Guide: 221 reviews and 909 photos
Nara's premier attraction is Todaiji Temple and its Daibutsu (Great Buddha). When Emperor Shomu ordered construction of both the temple and Daibutsu back in the mid-700s, he intended to make Todaiji the headquarters of all Buddhist temples in the land. As part of his plans for a Buddhist utopia, he commissioned work for this huge bronze statue of Buddha; it took eight castings to complete this remarkable work of art, which remains the largest bronze statue of Buddha in Japan. At a height of more than 50 feet, the Daibutsu is made of 437 tons of bronze, 286 pounds of pure gold, 165 pounds of mercury, and 7 tons of vegetable wax. However, thanks to Japan's frequent natural calamities, the Buddha of today isn't quite what it used to be. In 855, in what must have been a whopper of an earthquake, the statue lost its head. It was repaired in 861, but alas, the huge wooden building housing the Buddha was burned twice during wars, melting the Buddha's head. The present head dates from 1692.
The wooden structure housing the Great Buddha, called Daibutsuden, was destroyed several times through the centuries; the present structure dates from 1709. Measuring 161 feet tall, 187 feet long, and 164 feet wide, it's the largest wooden structure in the world--but is only two-thirds its original size. Be sure to walk in a circle around the Great Buddha to see it from all different angles. Behind the statue is a model of how the Daibutsuden used to look, flanked by two massive pagodas as well as a huge wooden column with a small hole in it near the ground. According to popular belief, if you can manage to crawl through this opening, you'll be sure to reach enlightenment (seemingly a snap for children). You can also get your fortune in English for ¥150 by shaking a bamboo canister until a wooden stick with a number comes out; the number corresponds to a piece of paper.
Hours: Daily Mar 8am-5pm; Apr-Sept, 7:30am-5:30pm; Oct, 7:30am-5pm; Nov-Feb, 8am-4:30pm
Prices Admission ¥500 adults
sunnywong's Related Pages
Nara Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "One of Japan's ancient capitals"
- "Rich Culture in the Countryside"
- "Nara - A historical City."
- "Deer Nara"
- "Nara - Ancient Japanese City"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Nara
- Hotels in Nara
- Transportation in Nara
- Restaurants in Nara
- Shopping in Nara
- Warnings and Dangers in Nara
- See All...
Badges & Stats in Nara
- 3 Reviews
- 5 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 0 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (11)
Have you been to Nara?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Nara
Photos in NaraSee All Photos (5)
Top 10 Pages
- Hong Kong Intro, 66 reviews, 129 photos, 5 travelogues
- Angkor Wat Intro, 86 reviews, 102 photos, 5 travelogues
- Banff National Park Intro, 85 reviews, 94 photos, 3 travelogues
- Vancouver Intro, 69 reviews, 82 photos, 3 travelogues
- Beijing Intro, 53 reviews, 91 photos, 4 travelogues
- Phnom Penh Intro, 55 reviews, 64 photos, 3 travelogues
- Yellowstone National Park Intro, 56 reviews, 63 photos, 2 travelogues
- Bangkok Intro, 31 reviews, 83 photos, 3 travelogues
- Yosemite National Park Intro, 34 reviews, 77 photos, 3 travelogues
- Penang Intro, 20 reviews, 89 photos, 3 travelogues
Latest Nara hotel reviews