Japan -03/31/- 04/08/2017

Nara Park-4/6/2017

Nara park Nandaimon gate & Todai ji Stone lanterns/Kasuga Shrines

Nandaimon,the Great South Gate

Along the approach to Todaiji stands the Nandaimon Gate, a large wooden gate built in the 12th century.



In the Japanese Buddhist architecture, the temples are generally oriented facing south, and the entrance to the sacred area is done via a southern gate, usually the largest gate in the complex, known as Nandaimon, the Great South Gate.

Nandaimon, is one of the oldest and most important Nandaimon gates in Japan.

You can also see deer roaming freely among all the tourists.

Close look at the gate.

Wooden pillars supporting the roof.


Tōdai-ji Temple

Todai-ji, Great Eastern Temple is one of Japan's most famous and historically significant temples and a landmark of Nara. The temple was constructed in 752 as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples of Japan and grew so powerful that the capital was moved from Nara to Nagaoka in 784 in order to lower the temple's influence on government affairs.

This is the court yard leading to Todai-ji temple- Lots of people visiting the temple.

We came at the right time for cherry blossoms.  This tree is humongous and totally in bloom.


This is really beautiful place


There are also lots of construction on the perimeter of the courtyard.


The facade of Todai-ji temple


Octagonal lantern from the 700's  in front of Todai-ji temple is classified as a national treasure.



Close look at the upper portion of the temple

Impressive wooden tall gate leading to the main hall.


As soon as you walk in Todai-jii's you will see the main hall with the Big Buddha, Daibutsuden.  Todai-ji which is the world's largest wooden building, despite the fact that the present reconstruction of 1692 is only two thirds of the original temple hall's size. The massive building houses one of Japan's largest bronze statues of Buddha.  The Buddha weighs some 500 tons, towering 49 feet tall, and with a 17.5 foot-long face. His hair is made of 966 individual bronze balls. Creating this massive bronze Buddha occupied much of Japan’s bronze production during the 700s,  which nearly bankrupted Japan in 751 Is now part of the Unesco World Heritage and Monuments of Ancient Nara and National treasure

Despite having been damaged and destroyed multiple times due to fire, earthquakes and accident, the Buddha’s head fell off in 855 and both the buildings and the statues have been continually repaired. Today Tōdai-ji, or the Great Eastern Temple complex, and the Great Buddha Hall it contains are in excellent shape.


Golden Buddha Statue -Kokuuzo bosatsu

Kokūzō symbolizes the "vast and boundless" Buddha wisdom that permeates the universe. In Japan, believers pray to Kokūzō to grant them wisdom on their quest toward enlightenment. They also pray to Kokūzō to improve their memory, technical skills, and artistic talents.

The entryway to the temple is massive, with two towering guardians on each side protecting the great Buddha.


Komokuten, a guard protecting the great buddha


Koumokuten is king of the west, Lord of litmitless Vision.  He sees through evil associations and punishes evil.

Kōmokuten is one of the four Shintennō, a group of fierce-looking guardian deities who protect the four cardinal directions of Buddha’s realm. In artwork, the four are typically placed around the central deity on Buddhist altars. Kōmokuten protects the western quarter.


Model, Nara-era (8th century) of Todai-ji


On the left is the head of Zochoten (Sk. Virudhaka), Lord of the South , and on the right is the head of Jikokuten, Lord of the East (Sk. Dhrtarastra) both from the 18th century.

In Japan, Bishamont is thought of as an armor-clad god of war or warriors and a punisher of evildoers. Bishamon is portrayed holding a spear in one hand and a small pagoda in the other hand, the latter symbolizing the divine treasure house, whose contents he both guards and gives away. In Japanese folklore, he is one of the Seven Lucky Gods.


Pindola Bharadvaja was one of four Arhats asked by Buddha to remain in the world to propagate Buddhist law. Each of the four was associated with one of the four compass directions. Pindola is said to have excelled in the mastery of occult and psychic powers.

In Japan, Pindola is called Binzuru, a short form of Bindora Baradaja , and is arguably the most popular of all the Arhats. 


This is a really large wooden statue of Binzuru seated in a lotus position.


Statues of him are usually well worn, since the faithful follow the custom of rubbing a part of the effigy corresponding to the sick parts of their bodies, as he is reputed to have the gift of healing.


Next... Stone lanterns/Kasuga Shrines



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