Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Nara: Deer, Todai-ji & Kasuga-Taisha Temples in Japan


It is easy to get from Kyoto downtown to Nara Park by train. Nara is a popular city with shrines and deer. There are many freely roaming deer around Nara Park but you need to be careful with them. Nara's deer are surprisingly tame but some can be aggressive towards visitors for food. Nara's deer love eating deer crackers. These deer will follow visitors when they see their favourite deer crackers. You can buy deer crackers at stalls around Nara Park. Some deer have learned to bow at the visitors when they ask for the crackers. According to the locals at Nara city, deer is the messengers of the gods and they also become the city symbol for tourism. 

Due to our time constraint, we decide to join a half day local tour to Todai-ji and Kasuga-Taisha temples at Nara Park. Todai-ji Temple is our first stop at Nara Park. It is a must-see attraction at Nara. Todai-ji is the Daibutsu-den (Hall of the Great Buddha) where you can see a 16-meter high Buddha statue (Daibutsu) at Todai-ji Temple. 

After that, we head to Kasuga-Taisha Temple. It is a short walking distance from Todai-ji Temple. Kasuga-Taisha Shrine is the most important Shinto shrine in Nara. Kasuga-Taisha Temple is totally different from Todai-ji Temple. Kasuga-Taisha Temple is located in the forest. You will enjoy and cherish the nature while walking along the pathway, which is surrounded by stone lanterns and shrines. All the stone lanterns and hanging lanterns on the buildings are donated by worshipers. All these lanterns will only lit-up twice a year during Lantern Festivals, one in early February and one in mid August.


How to get to Nara Park?
By Kintetsu Railways
A 35 minutes express train ride from Kyoto Station to Kintetsu Nara Station and costs 1,130yen per person for one way trip.   


Nearest station to Todai-ji and Kasuga-Taisha Temples:
25 minutes walk from Kintetsu Nara Station

Opening Hours at Todai-ji and Kasuga-Taisha Temples:
7:30am - 4:30pm

Admission Fee:
Todai-ji Temple           : 500yen per person
Kasuga-Taisha Temple: FREE    


Nara Park is famous for deer and the temples as the Japanese locals believe the deer are from the Gods in Japan
Nara Park is famous for deer and the temples as the Japanese locals believe the deer are the messengers from the Gods in Japan

The World Heritage Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara at Todai-ji and Kasuga-Taisha to visit at Nara in Japan
The World Heritage Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara at Todai-ji and Kasuga-Taisha to visit at Nara in Japan

Nan-dai-mon (the Great Southern Gate) of Todai-ji Temple is popular for Buddhist statues over 8 metres tall at Nara Park, Japan
Nan-dai-mon (the Great Southern Gate) of Todai-ji Temple is popular for Buddhist statues over 8 metres tall at Nara Park, Japan

Be careful with Nara deer as some maybe wild to handle at Nara Park in Japan
Be careful with Nara deer as some maybe wild to handle at Nara Park in Japan

Todai-ji Temple is recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site at Nara Park in Japan
Todai-ji Temple is recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site at Nara Park in Japan

Buddhism bronze statue in Todai-ji Temple at Nara Park, Japan
Buddhism bronze statue in Todai-ji Temple at Nara Park, Japan

Big Buddha Hall (Daibutsuden) is the world's largest wooden building  at Todai-ji Temple in Nara Park, Japan
Big Buddha Hall (Daibutsuden) is the world's largest wooden building  at Todai-ji Temple in Nara Park, Japan

Lotus pillar represents Buddhism at Todai-ji Temple in Nara Park, Japan
Lotus pillar represents Buddhism at Todai-ji Temple in Nara Park, Japan

Todai-ji Temple  is a most famous Buddhism temple and the roofing looks similar to Japanese Samurai Helmet at Nara Park, Japan
Todai-ji Temple  is a most famous Buddhism temple and the roofing looks similar to Japanese Samurai Helmet at Nara Park, Japan

A beautiful gate is located at the entrance of Todai-ji Temple in Nara Park, Japan
A beautiful gate is located at the entrance of Todai-ji Temple in Nara Park, Japan

Kasuga Taisha is famous for its lanterns which have been donated by worshipers and can be seen along the pathway at Nara Park in Japan
Kasuga Taisha is famous for its lanterns which have been donated by worshipers and can be seen along the pathway at Nara Park in Japan

Deer Water Fountain at Kasuga Taisha Temple in Nara Park, Japan
Deer Water Fountain at Kasuga Taisha Temple in Nara Park, Japan

Kasuga Taisa Shrine Temple is famous for its stone lanterns at Nara Park in Japan
Kasuga Taisa Shrine Temple is famous for its stone lanterns at Nara Park in Japan

Shrine temples are located along the pathway towards Kasuga-Taisha Temple in Nara Park, Japan
Shrine temples are located along the pathway towards Kasuga-Taisha Temple in Nara Park, Japan

Minamimon Kasuga Taisha Shrine is recognized as a World Heritage Site as part of  Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara by UNESCO in Japan
Minamimon Kasuga Taisha Shrine is recognized as a World Heritage Site as part of  Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara by UNESCO in Japan

Beautiful lanterns are hanging from the buildings and only lit up during Lantern Festivals, at Kasuga Taisha Temple in Nara Park, Japan
Beautiful lanterns are hanging from the buildings and only lit up during Lantern Festivals, at Kasuga Taisha Temple in Nara Park, Japan

Feeling calm while walking at Kasuga Taisha Shrine Temple in Nara Park, Japan
Feeling calm while walking at Kasuga Taisha Shrine Temple in Nara Park, Japan


My Older Post: 
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  • Hiroshima: Peace Memorial Museum & A-Bomb Dome in Japan
  • Hiroshima: Castle & Ninomaru Omote Gate in Japan
  • JR Shinkansen Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima station & Streetcar(Hiroshima Electrict Railway) in Japan
  • Kyoto: Nijo Castle (Nijojo) in Japan
  • Kyoto: Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) in Japan
  • Kyoto: Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion (Day 1) in Japan
  • Owakudani Hakone Ropeway (black eggs) in Japan
  • Mt Fuji & Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise in Japan
  • Odaiba Minato & Gundam Tokyo Bay, Japan
  • Asakusa Sensoji Kannon Buddhist Temple in Tokyo, Japan
  • Tokyo Imperial Palace East Gardens
  • Meiji Jingu Shrine in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Sky Bus Tokyo ride in Marunouchi district, Japan
  • Kit Kat, Ikebukuro Tokyo Store
  • Tokyo Station & Tokyo Tower, Japan
  • Akihabara Anime, Manga and Maid Cafe in Tokyo, Japan
  • Hachiko Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan
  • Observation Deck: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at Shinjuku, Tokyo
  • Shinjuku Skyscraper & Kabukicho in Tokyo, Japan
  • Tokyo Subway Metro Train Guide in Japan
  • Japan Culture & Vending Machine Introduction

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