Todai-Ji Temple Hall of the Great Buddha

Todai-ji temple gate from outside

This is the Todai-ji temple gate, viewed from the outside.

This incense brazier is just inside the temple grounds, right next to the gate.

The bronze critters holding up the brazier must be demons or something similar, judging from the claws on their feet.   Whatever they are, and whether they're friendly or unfriendly, we can safely say they're not human!

It's fairly common to see young Japanese people with their normally black hair died to a different color, like this girl.

young couple at Todai-ji temple incense brazier

The first unobstructed view of the Daibutsu-den or Hall of the Great Buddha is impressive, and even more so if you know that this building is a two-thirds scale reconstruction dating from 1709.   The original hall was built around 750, but was burned down in 1180 and 1567 during the civil wars which periodically swept across Japan.

view of the Hall of the Great Buddha

In the middle of this path is a 15 foot high lantern, which is considered to be a National Treasure.   The small roofed structure to the right of the path shelters a ritual cleansing area.

Hall of the Great Buddha from front on

Even though it's only two-thirds the size of the original, this is still the largest wooden building in the world.

looking up at the roof at the front of the Hall of the Great Buddha