Scrapbook of a Future Nobleman

Todai-ji: Home of the Really Big Buddha

Buddha statue at Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

The highlight of Nara has to be Todai-ji, an absolutely gigantic temple with a statue of Buddha to match. Everything about this place is oversize; from the very minute you enter onto the main axis you are dwarfed by the architecture and the statues. The first gate to the temple is only a hint of what is to come, with steps and a threshold sized for the gods – not you. From there you walk straight down towards a relatively small (read: normal-sized) outer wall building. Passing that, you enter a court which has a large, golden-horned building at the end of he axis. Once you’ve climbed that and finally passed through the main doors, you are confronted with a seated daibutsu – buddha statue – that is almost 50 feet tall (49.1 feet, to be exact). The building stretches away up above you into darkness, and you can smell incense and the aging wood all around you while a monk chants one of the daily prayers.

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Deer at Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan