Nara Todai-ji


In 743, Emperor Shōmu issued a law in which he stated that the people should become directly involved with the establishment of new Buddha temples throughout Japan. His personal belief was that such piety would inspire Buddha to protect his country from any further disaster. Over the centuries, the buildings and gardens have evolved together as to become an integral part of a unique, organic and living temple community. I estimate the community is several kilometers square. Until 1998, it was the world’s largest wooden building and it houses a 15 meter high Buddha, as well as other wooden statues, all large in scale.

This is a panoramic shot at Todai-ji’s main entrance into the temple just at the top of the steps. You walk through the main street to arrive to main entrance before entering the main garden area shown above. The Sakura trees flank the garden’s sides and the main fairway is often crowded with plenty of tourists taking photos. If you can get past the sika deer nipping at you and chasing each other over snacks provided by visitors, you will be lucky.