Experiences - Asia

Must-visit in Japan – Todai-ji

Visitors most often tend to miss a few places that actually has a lot of history and significance to it due to paucity of time. And Todai-ji is one of them. Todai-ji (Great Eastern Temple) is one of Japan’s most famous temples and a landmark of Nara.

While Nara is home to many historically and culturally important places recognized by the UNESCO as world heritage sites, the city also boasts of a diverse culture and unique cuisines that you do not want to miss.

Todai-ji

Image Courtesy: rowie k used under the Creative Commons Licence

In fact it has the largest bronze statue of Buddha known as Daibutsu which weighs 500 tons and is 16m tall. Todai-ji, along with Kofuku-ji and Horyu-ji, make up the ‘Big Three’ must-see temples of Nara.

Todai-ji was constructed in 752 as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples of Japan.

It is houses in the world’s largest wooden structure, the Daibutsu-den ( The great Buddha hall) which is 48 meters in height.

The atmosphere around the place is calm with the fragrance of the incense sticks wafting through the air and the resonance of the prayer bells ringing has a positive aura in it. The temple is crowded over the weekends while the weekdays are ideal to visit.

todaiji temple japan

Image Courtesy: David Martín Clavo used under the Creative Commons Licence

Todai-ji Temple Japan also possesses many valuable cultural artifacts. According to the records maintained by the temple, nearly 2,600,000 people helped construct the Buddha and the hall.

Daibutsu has been repaired and renovated after damage incurred by earthquakes: even its head has fallen off once.

The most recent Daibutsu-den built in 1709, although impressive, is a shadow of the original structure, the width being about 30 percent shorter.

So if you plan a visit to Japan, make sure you don’t miss the Daibutsu at Todai-ji and feel enlightened!

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