Todaiji Temple is one of the oldest and largest wooden temple in the world, and it is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The temple was built in the 700s, and the size of the main building is 57.5 x 50.5 x 49.1 m!
The temple has an iconic landmark which is an enormous statue of Buddha. The official name of the Great Buddha is Rushanabutsu meaning the sun.
Even though the Great Buddha is sitting, It is around 18 meters tall!
History of Todaiji Temple
Todaiji Temple was built in Nara era when Nara was the capital of Japan.
The emperor at that time believed that Buddha was protecting the country. He also believed that epidemic and disasters happen because of political corruption. So basically the temple and the great buddha were established to receive buddha’s blessing and for self discipline.
Todaiji Temple has been repaired several times since It was almost destroyed by disasters and fire in the 1300 years.
Fun activity at Todaiji Temple
There is a hall in one of the pillars of the temple. The size of the hall is the same as the Buddha’s nostril so it is quite big and you can go through it. It is said that you can ward off evil spirits through it.
One of my friends Micheal from Italy hardly did it, probably that’s why he successfully runs his business!
Todaiji Temple is located in a park called Deer Park where around 1300 deer live and roam, so you may be able to see the deer around the temple!
Entrance fee is JPY 1000 for The Great Buddha Hall / Todaiji Museum joint pass.
9:30am ~ 5pm (Nov – Mar), 9:30am ~ 5:30pm (Apr – Oct)
How to get to Todaiji Temple
There are 2 train stations close to Todaiji Temple.
The closest one is Kintetsu Nara station, and it is 15 min walk away. The route is lined in blue on the map below.
Another one is JR Nara station, and it takes around 30 min walk to get to the temple. It is also marked in blue on the map. If you come from Tokyo or other cities where Kintetsu train is not available, then JR Nara station is the option!
How locals enjoy Todaiji Temple area
Even though the temple is closed at night, we sometimes go there at night. Because it is quiet and peaceful, and more importantly the area becomes mystical with orange lights which is pretty romantic for couples!
The area becomes busy and brighter when Tokae is held!