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Jarrow, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom
December 30, 2008
From journal Three Months In Japan
by Shannon Schiner
August 21, 2004
The temple serves as not only a place to pray, but also as a center for Buddhist doctrinal research. Inside the main building are three large sculptures. The centerpiece is the Vairocana Buddha, the largest sitting bronze Buddha in the world. Originally he was made of cast bronze and then plated in gold. Now the gold is gone and all that remains is the bronze cast, which over the centuries has undergone several repairs. Nonetheless, this Buddha is an awesome sight. The sculpture is so well done and proportional that is stunning when you realize just how large it is at a height of nearly 49 ft. His head alone is nearly 18 feet high, and a person can literally fit inside of one of his nostrils.
Inside the temple it is possible to buy fortunes as well as a variety of charms for various causes. The temple is interesting and a great deal of time can be spent exploring the buildings and grounds. Definitely wear a hat or take an umbrella if you plan to visit during the summer. Although it is comfortably cool in the building, the walks outdoors are quite warm! Also, as this is one of the most popular sight in Japan, it can be quite crowded. Take this into account...and if you wish to get a good exterior shot of the main building your best bet is to stand far off to the right.
From journal Main Attractions in Nara, Japan