By request, here are some more pictures of Todaiji Temple in Nara. The original entry about Nara is was on April 14, 2004. As I mentioned in that entry, Todaiji is the world’s tallest wooden building and houses a giant bronze statue of Buddha.
You can read the details of the original post here.
Here’s a photo of the outside of Todaiji Temple. I took it from the walkway just inside the entrance gate. There’s a walkway all around the courtyard. Note the size of the people in relation to the building to get a sense of the scale of the place.
Inside the temple is the Daibutsu (Big Buddha: dai=big, butsu=buddha) and a number of other large statues. The Daibutsu, at 16.2 metres (53.1 feet), is tall but there are larger ones in Japan. It was nonetheless quite impressive. Here’s a photo of the Daibutsu and another statue seated to its left. Note the nostrils on the Daibutsu.
And here’s a blurry picture of Lia and Jarrod standing in front of the statue on the Buddha’s right-hand side. The statue is the same size as the one in the photo above. This picture is blurry because tripod photography is forbidden inside the temple and it’s not very well lit. I suspect the ban on tripods is to reduce conjestion with the throngs of tourists trying to get through the place. In any case, I’ve include this image more to give a sense of scale than for its virtue as a photograph.
Now that you have a sense of the scale of the place, here’s a picture of me going through the hole. The hole is supposedly the same size as one of the Daibutsu’s nostrils. It is said that if you can crawl through the hole, you will have good luck for the rest of your life. I wanted Jarrod to go through it but he refused. So I said that I’d go through first and then he could. He didn’t agree to the deal, but I’d already started taking off my backpack so I thought I try anyway. After a couple of kids went through, I tried… and made it through, much to the amazement of the surrounding throng. After that, a couple of ladies who had been hesitant to try decided to go through. I suppose they thought that if a foreigner can make it through, that anyone can. Apparently western tourists often get stuck—often enough that one of Lia’s students made a cartoon about this happening. I don’t know if I needed the additional good fortune, but I had a lot of fun.