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Nara – first capital of Japan

Before going to Nara, we had another day in Kyoto which we used for shopping. So now we have less money left but more omiyage (souvenirs) to take back home ;). Big shopping centres in Japan are similar to ours, thats why we don’t have many photos, but there are also some very nice little shopping streets like Nishiki Market (mostly for food and kitchen equipment). There we also found handmade Noren and fans.


Nishiki Market

On the 19th we had to leave early because we had only one day for visiting Nara, which is not much time for Japans first capital. The city is beautiful with many traditional houses and shops. It seems to have not changed much for a long time. “Wild” Sika Deer live in the huge park nearby, nuzzling at passengers in expectance of some food. There even are some stands where you can buy Shika-senbei (deer-crackers) to feed them.
The most important things to see for us were the two temples Kofuku-Ji and Todai-Ji and the Kasuga Shrine. At the first one we saw only some of the buildings because the main building was hidden under a huge tent. Why? For restauration of course. But there was at least a nice pagoda and a very beautifully decorated side building.


Kofuku-Ji Pagoda


Kofuku-Ji decoration

Same with Kasuga Shrine. Although the uncountable lanterns were quite impressive, we only saw part of the shrine which is getting a bit annoying by now.


Kasuga Shrine

The best part of the day was Todai-Ji. The great Buddha Hall, called Daibutsuden, was worlds biggest wooden building until 1998 and it houses the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha (Daibutsu). It is a very old building and it really is amazing how small you feel when standing in front of it. Daibutsuden has been rebuilt twice (last time in 1709) and it’s 57m long, 50m wide and 46.8m high, even it is 30% smaller than the last one. The original complex also contained one pagoda with about 100m height on each side of the hall. These were unfortunately destroyed by an earthquake.





In the Hall there was another attraction. A hole in one of the wooden pillars, which is just big enought for a person to edge through. Of course we tried it because it is said to bring good luck and we all managed to get through.


Todai-Ji pillar



  1. Khaine

    Why o why i always have the picture infront of me that Thomas stucks in this hole and infront of him a lil Japanese Monk stands and yell “U SHALL NOT PASS”

  2. maylee

    Danke für die schöne Karte, ist gestern angekommen.Hab das Besteck schon weggeräumt , gibt nur mehr Stäbchen.:-)

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