“ Japan's largest bronze Buddha statue and captivating visitors with its rich cultural heritage and magnificent architecture.  ”

Todaiji, also known as the "Great Eastern Temple," is a renowned and historically significant temple in Nara, Japan. Built in 752, it served as the central temple for Buddhist temples throughout the provinces of Japan. The temple gained immense power, leading to the capital being relocated from Nara in 784 to reduce its influence on government affairs.

The main hall of Todaiji, called the Daibutsuden or Big Buddha Hall, was once the largest wooden building in the world. Although the current reconstruction in 1692 is two-thirds of its original size, it remains an impressive structure. Inside the massive hall resides a colossal bronze Buddha statue, standing at 15 meters tall. This seated Buddha represents Vairocana and is flanked by two Bodhisattvas.

Within the Daibutsuden Hall, visitors can also find various smaller Buddhist statues and models depicting the past and present buildings of Todaiji. One notable attraction is a pillar with a hole in its base, which matches the size of the Buddha's nostril. Legend has it that those who can pass through this opening will achieve enlightenment in their next life.

On the approach to Todaiji, visitors will encounter the Nandaimon Gate, a large wooden gate guarded by two fierce-looking statues known as the Nio Guardian Kings. Both the gate and the statues have been designated as national treasures. Additionally, temple visitors may encounter deer from the nearby Nara Park, which are known for begging for shika senbei, special deer crackers available for purchase at around 200 yen.

Todaiji temple Hours and Admission

  • Daibutsuden Hall,7:30 to 17:30 (April to October) ,8:00 to 17:00 (November to March).
  • Admission 600 yen.

Getting there and around

Todaiji is located in the northern part of Nara Park. It is about a 30 minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station, or about a 45 minute walk from JR Nara Station. It can also be reached by bus from either station. Get off at Todaiji Daibutsuden from where it is a 5-10 minute walk to Todaiji's main building

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