Nara's Best Buddhist Statuary

Buddhism was established in Japan in the Nara period (710-794), so it's no surprise that most of the nation’s most important Buddhist statues are found here in Nara.

Chugu-ji Temple

The seated Miroku Bosatsu figure made in the Asuka period is popular for its mysterious smile, often compared with the Mona Lisa. | History & Culture | Horyuji Temple

Todaiji Temple

The big one, literally, at a height of over 15 meters, the Daibutsu or Great Buddha is the symbol of the Nara era. | History & Culture | Nara Park

Abe-Monjuin Temple

The Monju Bosatsu by acclaimed sculptor Kaikei of the Kamakura period, depicts a Bodhisattva riding a mythical lion. | History & Culture | Sakurai

Shinyakushiji Temple

The large Yakushi Nyorai healing Buddha, is surrounded by 12 guardian figures that are superbly carved with realistic expressions and the oldest of their kind in Japan. | History & Culture | Nara Park

Asukadera Temple

The Shaka image of Asukadera Temple is considered Japan's oldest documented Buddha figure and an excellent example of Asuka style. | History & Culture | Asuka

Hasedera Temple

There are many fine carvings here and the most prominent is the gilded eleven faced Kannon, carved from camphor wood in 1538 and standing over 10m high. | History & Culture | Hase

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