The largest structure of wood in the world. Beautiful scenery. Giant Buddha statues. And deer that bite butts.
If my house were in Japan I might be able to see it from here.
We had a whirlwind tour through Nara, stopping at the world famous Todaiji Temple, and that informed the bulk of my 感想 (かんそう) impression. I really wish we`d had more time inside, since the complex includes not only the great temple itself, but various other halls and shrines which you can walk to and visit. The scenery is beautiful, and it`s much less crowded once you get a bit further from the main temple.
So much to see, so little time!
A beautiful view a short walk away from the main temple.
Of course the main temple is the main attraction, though. It was milling with people from all over, having their pictures taken before it. It really is impressive, and the interior is beautiful. There`s also a pillar you can slide through, which had a gigantic line extending through the back of the temple as people waited from their chance to crawl into it.The hole, said to be the size of Buddha's nostril, can give enlightenment to the people that pass through it.
Alas, the line was too big for me, and the hole was probably too small. (In Japan, I wear LL shoes and 大yukata. This means I am unable to wear cute shoes, and fit through holes in pillars in beautiful and world famous temples.)
The main attraction.
You see a lot of statues of Buddha in Japan, but the size of the Buddha here is pretty astounding. Apparently it has had various parts recast over the years, the last part being recast and replaced in the Edo period. It was too dark for my camera to take pictures (although it was bright outside and everything was perfectly visible. Why camera? Why?!) so I took video instead...
And lastly the deer. If you remember from the Miyajima post, we have met with deer. They were not as cute as Disney`s Bambi and Japan`s various mascots would have you believe, but we were told that Nara`s deer were much nicer.
Going for the jugular!
Except of course that they may knock you down, bite you, or rub their shedding faces all over you. Actually, I saw several children pushing and draping themselves over the deer with no ill effect (and also several children screaming in terror when a deer so much as looked at them), but while I saw no ill-will on the part of the deer, it does seem that they are fond of biting bottoms, as a friend can attest.
To summarize, allot a good amount of time to Daibutsu Todaiji, walk a bit on the grounds, and mind your bottom.