2. View the sights of Kyoto
  3. Todai-ji in Nara

Todai-ji in Nara

Emperor Shomu commissioned an ambitious project in 743. The construction of a building to house what was to be the most colossal bronze statue in the world, the Daibutsu (great Buddha) of Nara which was eventually consecrated in 752. At the entrance, visitors pass through the Nandai-mon, the Great South Gate with two impressive wooden statues the Ni-oh guardians made in 1203 by the sculptor’s Unkei and Kaikei. At the end of the avenue is the Great Buddha Hall, the Daibutsu-den. The great bronze statue of Daibutsu Vairocana, created in 751, sitting on a lotus flower in a state of enlightenment. Its enormous height (50ft/15m) and weighs (250 tons) is the largest bronze Buddha in the world.