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Published: October 15th 2018
Temple roofs and trees
We went on a day trip to Nara today, taking the train first to the temple at Horyuji . Horyuji Temple (法隆寺, Hōryūji) was founded in 607 by Prince Shotoku
, who is credited with the early promotion of Buddhi
sm in Japan. Horyuji is one of the country's oldest temples
and contains the world's oldest surviving wooden structures.
We walked a little more than a mile to the temple, since the bus wouldn't leave for almost an hour. There were signs all the way in English, so it was easy to find.
Unfortunately, the entrance fee was three times more than the average temple, and the main feature, the ancient gate built in 607, was closed for repairs. We still visited the site, viewing the Five Story Pagoda, also built 607. It was disassembled during WWII, to protect it, and reassembled after the war.
We visited the Gallery of Temple Treasures
, which was built in 1998 to exhibit a part of the temple's huge art collection. Various statues of Buddha as well as Buddhist relics, artwork and paintings are on display inside.
We took the train back to Nara, and had lunch at the station. We then took a
The 57 foot Buddha inside the Great Hall
bus to the entrance to the giant Todai-ji Temple.
Todaiji (東大寺, Tōdaiji, "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 temple area includes the largest wooden structure in the world, the Daibutsu-den, the Great Buddha Hall. The original hall was a third bigger! It contains a 53 foot bronze Buddha. Bill had been here in 1968.... The crowds were not too large, and we were able to view the interior easily.
The sacred deer have the run of the city and temple grounds. The older males (all have their horns cut off) make a frightening bugle/growl from time to time, and the kids with ice cream being chased by deer add their screams to the mix. There are deer and deer poop everywhere!
After spending the rest of the afternoon touring the other buildings and grounds, and avoiding deer and deer poop, we
Besides a heated seat, washing function, and autoflush, it has a sink on the back where the water flows before filling the tank...so efficient!
headed back to our apartment by train, eating dinner once again at the station...
The delightful young man who welcomed us to the building upon our arrival had been dealing with our lack of hot water while we were in Nara. When we got home a little after 7:00 pm, he was still at the desk waiting for us (an hour after his shift ended) to explain what had happened! The gas meters are set to turn off in case of earthquakes, and apparently an extra heavy train rumbling by turned off our meter...(seeing as the apartment is at the intersection of three train lines, this will probably be a problem in the future..)
We packed up the next morning and caught the 9:30 bullet train back to Tokyo....and then local trains to my brother's place...
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