After walking around Nara Park and stopping to smell the cherry blossoms, we continued on to Todaiji Temple also known as the Great Eastern Temple, to see one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha. Like the deer, Todaiji is a landmark of Nara.
The temple was constructed in 752 and was the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples in Japan. It actually burned down a couple of times and the current building is the third reconstruction. According to the back of the ticket, the main hall, the Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall) is currently 33% smaller than the original hall, but it still ranks as the world’s largest wooden structure!!
Before reaching the temple, you will find a few souvenir shops, the Nandaimon Gate and of course hundreds of hungry deer looking for shika senbei, the ¥150 special crackers.
This is one of Buddha’s disciples, Pindola, who is believed to have excelled in the mastery of occult powers. It is commonly believed in Japan that if you rub a specific part of the statue and then proceed to rub that same spot on your body that your ailments will disappear.