Deers and Todaiji – A Glimpse of Nara, Japan

I did a quick visit to Nara Prefecture, Japan during my stay in Kyoto. . I only had a morning to see Nara so I only planned to see Todaiji Temple and the deers that roam freely around the area. Travel time from Kyoto to Nara takes around 1 hour via JR Nara Line.

Nara Park

From Nara station, I just walked towards the direction of Nara Park where I targeted to see hundreds of deers. The popular temples and museums of Nara sits within the park too, a one stop shop. . 🙂 At the park, you’ll see vendors of special deer crackers called shika senbei, and for 150 yen you can feed the deers. The city’s symbol and treasure and messenger of deities, as believed by the Nara locals, the deers of Nara seem domesticated though they can be a little bit rough when they know you have crackers on your hand to feed them. They really traipse freely in the city and you can see them sleeping outside closed cafe’s, resting under the trees of the park, meandering along the walkways, bicycle lanes, everywhere. Though it rained during my visit, I enjoyed the autumn foliage and the feeding of the tamed animals.

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Todaiji temple

From the quick searches I made, Todaiji is the most popular attraction in Nara. . Housing a huge 15-meter tall bronze Buddha, I’ve learnt that this is the largest wooden building ever built in the world. However, upon seeing the miniature scale of the original temple inside the main hall, I knew that other structures of the original temple do not stand at present anymore. At the gate of the attraction, called Nandaimon, are 2 fierce looking statues said to be guarding the Buddha. Deers are also found within the vicinity of the temple grounds. Todaiji Museum was also established near the Daibutsuden, temple’s main Buddha hall, but because I wanted to see more of Kyoto in the afternoon, I skipped this.

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my camera wasn’t spared by the rain. . forget that water bead captured by my lens. .

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And so I thought this statue would give me nightmares, little did I know it is a healer. The post at the foot says “Binzuru (Pindola Bharadvaja) Wood, Edo Period, 18th cent. Pindola was one of the 16 arahats, who were disciples of Buddha. Pindola is said to have excelled in the mastery of occult powers. It is commonly believed in Japan that when a person rubs a part of the image of Binzuru and then rubs the corresponding part of his own body, his ailment there will disappear.”

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