Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Japan Autumn Trip 02: Autumn Look of Todai-ji, Nara

A lot of Buddhism temples are still well preserved currently in Nara city, an imperial capital about 1300 years ago. This is my second times visiting this city. I had visited Kofuku-ji and Todai-ji these two temples early this year. So, if you are interested in their history and how the sakura blooming in these two temples, please kindly refer to the link provided. :)

This post will let you experience the scenic red leaves from Nara station to Todai-ji, and Nigatsu-do, a temple hall located at the east of Todai-ji where you could see the entire view of Nara city.

Outside Nara station, few days ago was Ritual of Returning to Main Hall (正迁宫祭) of Kasuga Taisha

Red leaves along Sanjyo-dori street

Jokyo-ji, a temple hidden in modern buildings along Sanjyo-dori

Red leaves outside Kofuku-ji

Passing through Kofuku-ji, you will reach Nara park where deers are wandering around

Nara national museum, it was the last day of Exhibition of Shoso-in Treasures, long queue could be seen at 9 am
(Note: Shoso-in, located within the area of Todai-ji, is a repository storing treasures that belonged to Emperor Shomu and Empress Komyo. Most of these treasures were originated from Tang Dynasty )

A short distance after Nara national museum is the street in front of Todai-ji. Almost all leaves have turned into charming red.

Nara was raining and quite cold in that morning, even the deer kept sneezing!

Chozuya located in front of Nandaimon of Todai-ji

This period should be the season of Japanese high school excursion trip. Japanese students, wearing their symbolic uniforms, could be seen everywhere.

Japanese students "attacked" by deers


I did not enter the Daibutsu-den (Great Buddha Hall) this times. If you are interested in the history of Todai-ji and how magnificent the Buddha statues are, please refer to my travelogue in this spring. The aim of this trip was Nigatsu-do.

Kagami-ike (east side at the front of Chu-mon)
Daibutsu-den, view from Kagami-ike
Asoka pillar

Torii of Tamukeyama Shrine

Along the way towards Tamukeyama Shrine, archaeological excavation site of Toto (Eastern Seven-Tiers Pagoda) could be seen at right side

At the junction, where left side leads to Nigatsu-do and Great Bell

Bell Tower (Kamakura Period)

The Bell (Nara Period)
The Bell and the Bell Tower have been listed as National Treasures of Japan. According to the introduction, the Bell, one of the famous Japanese bells, was forged together with the Great Buddha at 752. In order to protect the bell striker (or "dragon head" in Japanese), it could only be used during religious ceremony and other specific events.

The Bell Tower was built by Yosai, a Zen priest who was Chief Solicitor at that time, between 1206 and 1210. One of the main architecture features is its blended styles of Japanese, Chinese (Tang Dynasty) and Indian.

Stone pathway towards Nigatsu-do

Sanmi-do (Shigatsu-do), first built in 11th century, the current building is rebuilt in Edo Period. Shigatsu-do, known as Fourth-month Hall in Japanese, was named because the Sanmi ceremony is held in fourth month of lunar calendar.

Nigatsu-do, known as Second-month Hall in Japanese, is the place that Shuni-kai (or Getting Water Ceremony) is held. This ceremony is held in second month of lunar calendar. Nigatsu-do is one of the best places that could see the Nara landscape.


Tamukeyama Shrine, at the east of Nigatsu-do

Hokke-do Kyoko (法華堂経庫, Scripture store of Hokke Hall), originated from Nara Period, has been moved and rebuilt multiple times. This building was a treasure belonged to Tamukeyama Shrine, but assigned to Todai-ji during early Meiji period due to the Shinbutsu-bunri policy.[1] This is why the entrance of the store is facing to the opposite side of Hokke Hall (the building at far left in the photo).

[1] Shinbutsu-bunri policy: A policy issued during Meiji restoration,  which seperate Shinto from Buddhism.


No comments:

Post a Comment