As I sat on the train, I glanced at the map I’d picked up at the information center, and scanned the places with Japanese names, Daibutsuden Hall, Nigatsudo Hall, Hokkedo Hall, Kaidando Hall, Shosoin Storehouse, Seven Story Pagoda, then got off at Nara station with a smile and high expectations of discovery.

The area now called Nara is where the first capital city of Japan was established in 710 at Heijo. The Buddhist monastery power influenced the government and capital to move to Nagaoka, then Kyoto, but Nara is where many historic treasures remain. It’s the place where Todaiji Temple houses one of the largest bronze Buddha statues in Japan. Being the world’s largest wooden structure in the world, it is a must see when in Nara, Japan. 

Walking into the park visitors encounter deer begging for food, then passing through the Nanaimon Gate see two Guardian Kings on either side. Surrounding the Temple are other structures of interest, and as you approach the large stair steps to the entrance, pass trees on either side with bad luck fortunes tied to the branches. Upon stepping in, you will be draped in smoke from incense giving a clear feeling of being in a special place as you face Daibutsu. Walking around to rear of the temple visitors will notice that at the base of one of the gigantic columns is a hole, the size of the Buddha statue’s nose, and through the center giving those who can squeeze in and out the other side will have enlightenment in the afterlife.

There are many places in Japan, and around the world where history is kept and guarded, so future generations to some degree can experience the way life was in the past. Like shadows, memories float over these places leaving visitors speechless on their sight. In books we read but being there allows a feeling of memories and dreams, and the chance for history to come to life.

The cover picture for my book “AWAKE ASLEEP DREAMING DEAD” was taken inside Todaiji temple. I reckon it’s still the same. Click the link to get a free copy.


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