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Tōdai-ji, Nara

(4.7/5 based on 3,400+ reviews on the web)
A World Heritage Site dating back to 728 CE, Tōdai-ji has served as a central Buddhist temple complex known for its administrative control over provincial temples. Today, it remains a pilgrimage and ritual site for international Buddhism. The main hall, a massive wooden building, contains a 15 m (49.2 ft) bronze statue of the Buddha flanked by bodhisattvas. Check out the onsite museum, which features rotating displays of the temple's collection of religious art and cultural artifacts. Try not to scare the deer roaming the temple grounds, as Shintoism considers them godly messengers. Tōdai-ji is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our custom trip planner, Nara Edition.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful huge temple. That's what came to my mind when i first saw it. You can see a huge buddha inside the temple. Lots of tourist. I guess you should come early in the morning to avoid the crowd.  more »
  • Big in Japan is not. Religious activities are used as much as I do. Plenty of traditional grandeur. Near the South Gate will be bothering a deer Rice cracker deer as a natural monument. Here is real.
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  • In it's prime this is one of the highlights of Japan. Especially at night when all lit up. However for the past few years they have been renovating and i am sad to say this is the heaviest scaffolding...  more »
Google
  • Everything about this place is peaceful, fulfilling, and beautiful. The roaming deer just outside the walls (and throughout the city) are such pleasant and timid creatures. Be careful if you have food, as they will surround you and likely pull on your clothes and bags with their mouths! You can buy special crackers to feed the deer and plenty of deer themed knickknacks in the stores both inside the temple and out. Inside the temple are large and well maintained statues and elaborate models of the buildings. Definitely a stop to add to your list but if you want to avoid crowds, go on the off-season and at either end of the operating hours.
  • Wonderful experience. Beautiful and the statues were marvelous! A 'must see' attraction. Make sure to explore the big park around it. There's more to see. They have a package ticket of ¥800 to enter the temple and museum. It costs ¥500 just to enter the temple only. Once you've been there, all the other temples are irrelevant.
  • It need a massive temple to host the biggest Buddha. And this is Todai-Ji. Very very impressive. You really feel like a smurf beside this temple. Beside that, this might one of the most beautiful temple in the region. Definitely worth the sight.
  • The incredibly impressive temple is absolutely massive. The scale of the wooden columns takes time to sink in. The temple is the third iteration, with this latest being 300 years old and only 66% the size of the original. A maquette inside helps give an idea of the size and splendour. There are free guide talks in English by volunteers that last 10 minutes that are a good introduction.
  • And imposing structure that looks ooolllddd.. And rightly so.. Just adds to the charm of the place. The deers roaming around soo freely around temple that at times.. We had to stay clear of them rather than the other way round :P The huge buddha sculpture and the ambience of teh place is overwhelming but calming all at once. Great place to visit. And on the way.. Do eat lots of local stuff.. Specially loved soy milk ice cream