The Great Buddhai at Todai-Ji Temple

full length photo of the Great Buddha statue from front-on

"Hey, dude, nice you could drop by".

This photo of the statue doesn't begin to convey its size, but it's nice to have a shot of the entire thing all at once.   You can't really see much of the 10 foot tall lotus leaves he's sitting on, but this is the best I could do from this angle.

You can see that his head looks a lot newer than the rest of his body.  That's because the head was made in the nineteenth century to replace one which fell off.  His hands were made sometime in the 16th century.   The original statue dates from 752.

Getting a photo here is not as easy as it looks.   The Daibutsu-den, or Hall of the Great Buddha, is dark except for the natural light which filters in through its sides and through the large doors at its front - you can pretty much ignore the light from the two flaming torches visible in front of the Buddha!   You can't use a tripod, so hand-held photos are the only way to go.   You're going to need a pretty powerful flash or a lens that sucks in an awful lot of light.  I did use a flash for some of the photos inside the hall, but mostly I shot using a special 50mm fixed focus lens with its aperture opened all the way to f1.2.

My apologies to the 99% of readers who have no idea what that last sentence means.

Maybe the photo below conveys better the size of the statue, which is said to be the largest one in the world of a sitting figure.   You can also see where some of that 230kg of gold went.   For backward, unmetricated countries such as the USA, you can multiply 230 by 2.2 to figure out how many pounds of gold that is!   On either side of the Buddha you can also see the huge pillars holding the place up.

the Great Buddha's upper torso and beams of the Hall
Buddha statue with large bronze lotus vase in foreground

Walking clockwise around the Buddha, it almost seems like a different statue from each new angle.

statue from the side

There are those lotus leaves I mentioned.   Each leaf represents an entire universe.

Imagine a person standing on the statue's shoulder.   For a sense of scale, you should know that each ear is 2.5 meters (10 feet) high.

Yeah, we're talking a seriously big statue.

large photo of the complete Buddha and interior of the Daibutsu-den