The ancient capital of Nara was a short train trip from Osaka. So we decided to head there for a day trip. Nowadays it’s better known for being the home of the largest wooden temple Todai-Ji which houses a massive bronze Buddha known as Daibutsu. The train trip on the Kintetau line took just on forty minutes. From the station we joined the masses of school students and other visitors walking to the huge temple. It didn’t take long for us to spot some of the famous, and far too numerous, deer in an adjoining park.
As we approached the temple entry we were a bit surprised to see a wooden boat on a lake.
We paid our entry fee and approached the door to the main temple through a haze of incense. The giant Buddha was certainly huge but due to the darkness and a bit of an incense haze it was hard to make out all the detail.
This side view shows him in a better light.
Movement around the temple was in a clockwise direction. Next to the giant Buddha was another gilt bodhisattva, Kokuzo Bosatsu, to whom students pray for wisdom and memory to help with their studies.
The next statues we saw were fierce looking guardians of wisdom.
After exiting the temple we walked up towards a complex of sub-temples. Along the way we passed a massive bell with an equally large pole to ring it.
Here is is the Nigatsu-do building.
From its’ balcony we had an excellent view of Nara and the surrounding plain.
We continued our circuit walk and passed this small temple
and many of these lanterns, which I love photographing, especially when they have moss or small plants growing on them.
The last part of the walk saw us going through a couple of the parks with the ubiquitous deer just waiting to be fed and/or photographed.
Nara was a town of contrasts with the tourist flocking to the well known sights but you could also walk peacefully in the gardens and parks away from the crowds if you chose, as we did.