Sep 9, 2010

Nara Deer Park, Todaji Temple, Nara.

 The Nara Deer Park surround Todaki Temple, the largest surviving wooden temple in Japan, if not the world.  Japan is teeming with World Heritage listed sites and we were fortunate to visit many of these on our travels through Kyoto and Nara.

I've never seen deer in real life before. They really are such peaceful and graceful animals. These deer at the park are so used to humans they seem unafraid.  In ancient times, deer were such a respected and sacred animal in Nara that it was a crime punishable by execution to kill a deer.  Farmers, if they ever discovered a dead deer on their land, would tip the body over into the land of their neighbour.  Is this the origin of passing the buck?

For a small fee, deer biscuits can be bought to feed the deer.

As delicious as those deer biscuits looked, I restrained myself and decided not to taste test them.
The discerning deer prefers Taksahimya shopping bags.

After walking past the deer, there is a clearing and Todaji can be seen in the distance.

Just checking we were in the right spot.

The main gate, Nandai-mon.  On either side of the entrance there are two fierce looking Nio guardian statues.

Detail of the wooden support structures of the temple.  How was such height and grandeur achieved with wood and no electricity?

Inside the temple hall, Daibutsu-den, is the tallest Great Buddha (The Daibutsu) in the world.

The buddha was first cast in 746.  It is over 16m high and contains 437 tonnnes of bronze and 130kg of gold.

Whilst we were there, several spiritual tour groups arrived for their buddhist blessings.

The second buddha statue is smaller in size and has the opposite hand raised.  This is a symbol of the buddha closer  (and hence less perfect) to mere mortal humans.


  1. HAHAHA i love that pic you took with the temple and the temple on the card!

  2. The deer looks so sweet! In general Japan and things from Japan are very exotic to me. Maybe I am too European, too European. I do enjoy your pictures!

  3. Adorable deers, can't wait to see more travel snaps x

  4. metscan: it's all relative, I think. Europe is very exotic to me.

    FF and chocolate suze: thanks for reading, glad the photos are interesting.

    SSG xxx


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