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“The most impressive site in Nara... 2nd only to the deer”
Review of Todai-ji Temple

Todai-ji Temple
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$93.67*
and up
Nara Afternoon Tour of Todaiji Temple, Deer Park and Kasuga Shrine from Osaka
Ranked #1 of 185 things to do in Nara
Certificate of Excellence
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
660 reviews
297 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 325 helpful votes
“The most impressive site in Nara... 2nd only to the deer”
Reviewed December 23, 2012

The most impressive and famous temple in Nara, home to the giant buddha. Really impressive and beautiful ground. Most all of the sites in Nara are in Nara Park meaning that it's impossible for you to enter here without first saying hello to the incredibly cute and friendly deer. Take your time soaking up the sights and marvels of the giant buddha, his 2 companions, and 2 fierce guardians.

As you make the loop around, right before the souvenir section you will see a large wooden pillar with a hole through it. Legend says that those who can fit their whole body through will reach eternal fortune... give it a try!

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Jon1796
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Taipei, Taiwan
Level Contributor
56 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Giant Buddha is a must-see”
Reviewed December 16, 2012

Todaiji Temple is probably the most talked-about temple whenever someone mentions Nara. It’s hard to understand why so many people rave about it, but one step into the main hall and you’ll understand.

Getting to the temple is very easy from either the JR station or Kintetsu station – just take one of the buses gets to the temple. For those not on a tight schedule, you can even walk there.

For me, I had to take the long way, having to start off at Horyuji Temple on the other side of town. The good news is the bus has its terminal station at Horyuji and at Kasuga-taisha – just one stop after Todaiji; the bad news is that there’s only a bus every hour, and the trip itself takes an hour.

The temple complex is actually quite spread out. Most people who come here probably have their mind set on the main hall with the giant Buddha. Granted, it’s one of the most magnificent structure inside the complex, but by no means the only one.

The road leading up to the temple is populated by shops offering all kinds of treats and souvenirs. Like Nara Park, there are also vendors offering wafers for feeding the roaming fauns.

Visiting the Great Buddha Hall requires admission tickets, and the staff people remind you to have a bathroom break because there’s no restroom beyond the admission gates.

For those who wants to take pictures of the giant Buddha, be advised that tripods and monopods are not allowed inside the area. To make it worst, the hall is poorly lit, so you might have to set a high ISO value for even a slim chance at taking a photo.

For visitors that have time to spare, I would suggest a visit up to February Hall higher up on the hill. It’s a building of the temple which offers a great view of Nara. Even better – no admission ticket required!

The Good:

- Getting there shouldn’t be a problem
- Impressive statues
- Great view of Nara from February Hall

The Bad:

- Huge temple complex; it’s easy to get lost – especially if you’re heading to some of the lesser known buildings
- Finding a restroom may be challenging at times
- No tripod + poor lighting inside the Giant Buddha Hall

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank RCL_TPE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
37 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Not to be missed but beware of hungry deer.”
Reviewed December 14, 2012

Awesome building . You need to be there to actually " feel" it. Careful when feeding the deer, my husband was a little slow in dispensing the wafers and got a nip on his behind.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Muffin808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uji, Japan
Level Contributor
57 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Gorgeous Temple!”
Reviewed December 3, 2012 via mobile

Been there last week and the surrounding was burning in red with autumn leaves. Really amazing! Todaiji was a great temple and located just a walking distance from Nara's JR Station.The Buddhs's statue inside the hall was stunning and really a life time experience for us. Be prepare to entertain hundreds of deer roaming around the area and make sure you feed them properly.I will visit again once I'm back to Kyoto next year.

Helpful?
1 Thank ChesireCats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
1,175 reviews
794 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 684 helpful votes
“Stunning Temple.”
Reviewed November 19, 2012

Todaiji Temple is the biggest wooden temple of the world and when you are in front of it there are few words to describe it. The distinctive statues and the buddhist traditions that surround the temple clearly gives you an unique view of the japanese culture.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank RMartinSDXB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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