If you visit Kasuga Taisha shrine after Todaiji temple, you will pass Wakakusayama and go through an ancient forest. The trees look like they've been there forever and the forest has an enchanted, perhaps even mildly eerie feel to it.
The pathway is lined by stone lanterns, some covered in moss. There are well over a thousand of them in total and they are lighted up on special occasions. It must be tedious work lighting up all those lanterns, but I would love to see what the place would look like with the lanterns lit. I imagine it would be fantastic.
Like other Shinto shrines, Kasuga Taisha is painted in bright vermillion, a shocking contrast to the earthy colours of its forest home. There are more lanterns here, hanging along the sides of the building, made of metal with intricate designs and some with inscriptions. The shrine has been in existence for over a millennium; and together with the nearby temples, signify the importance of religion to the Japanese people throughout history and well into the future.
There was a traditional wedding ceremony being held and I am very glad that I got to witness it because this isn't something you get to see everyday. Did not venture into the paid areas as suggested by my guide, however I did offer a donation and a prayer.