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Thursday, September 13, 2007


Images: Me achieving enlightnment,
Todaiji Temple,
The Daibutsu (Great Buddha),
Cute but vicious deer.

I recently took a day trip to Nara. It was about 2.5 hours on a highway bus from Nagoya and I had a great time. Nara is a very beautiful city. It's quite small and easy to get around. I arrived in Nara around 10am and headed to Todaiji Temple. On the way there and upon my arrival I was able to see deer roaming the parks and temple grounds freely. They are very tame animals until you purchase waffer cookies to feed them. The second I exchanged money with the vendor, they knew it and started to attack. They surrounded me and one bit my shorts! I saw a little girl running away from them screaming and crying. It was quite cute.

The Todaiji Daibutsu-den hall is the largest wooden structure in the world, and I believe it. It was huge. Inside is one of the largest bronze figures of Buddha, the Daibutsu. The statues were really breathtaking. In the back of the hall is a column with a hole in the bottom. The hole is believed to be the same size as one of the Great Buddha's nostrils and those who can fit through are able to achieve enlightnment. Of course I was able to fit through!

After spending time looking around the grounds of Todaiji Temple I went for lunch and then took off to another temple. I took a short train and bus ride to Horyu-ji Temple which was founded in 607 by Prince Shotoku, who is considered to be the patron saint of Japanese Buddhism. The entrance fee was 1000 yen and that included fees for 3 seperate areas. Sai-in, To-in and the Great Treasure Hall. The statues in the Great Treasure Hall were very beautiful, lots of Buddha statues and images of Prince Shotoku.

After a couple hours in Horyu-ji I returned to Nara and took some time away from the temples and Buddha's and looked around the local shops. It was a nice way to end a long day of walking and luckily the rain arrived about 40min before I had to catch my bus back to Nagoya. It was a great day and I enjoyed being able to come back to my own bed at the end of the day.


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