Todaiji is one of the most impressive temples in Japan, and plays a major role in Japanese history through the ages.
You approach Todaiji Temple through the Nandaimon (Great Southern Gate), where you are confronted by the fierce Nio figures that guard the approach to the Great Buddha. Carved by famous sculptors Unkei and Kaikei, around the 12th century AD, they are two of the finest examples in Japan. The Daibutsuden (Great Buddha Hall), one of the world’s largest wooden structures, is breathtaking in its scale and architecture. Standing in front of the hall, you will see a large octagonal bronze lantern: one of the temple’s oldest treasures.
Completed around 752 during the Nara Period, this World Heritage temple was commissioned by Emperor Shomu to bring peace to a tumultuous period: in addition to losing his infant son, there had been a smallpox epidemic, crop failures and an attempted coup.
The Daibutsu (Great Buddha) is Japan’s largest at 15m high. Cast from over 400 tons of bronze and originally gilded, the whole nation was involved in its construction. Be sure to walk behind the statue to see the models of how the temple site originally looked.
The grounds around the main temple are also well worth visiting. There are extensive gardens and several museums and treasure halls. To the right of the main temple, the Nigatsudo hall features some fine Buddhist carvings and sweeping views over Nara. From there the path continues to Kasugataisha Shrine.
Also nearby are the Isuien traditional Japanese garden, Kohfukuji Temple and its renown Buddhist statue museum, and the Nara National Museum, with its superb collections of Nara Period art.
Last update: 2016-12-06
- Venue Details & Access Info
406-1 Zoshicho, Nara
From Kintetsu Nara Station:
- 19 minutes on foot from the station.
Related Venues Hokkedo (Sangatsudo)
Related Events Basara Festival
Todaiji Manto Kuyoe
- 東大寺 大仏殿 Todaiji Temple
- address 奈良市雑司町406-1 406-1 Zoshicho, Nara
- Opening Time & Admissions
Nov - Feb: 8:00 - 16:30
Mar: 8:00 - 17:00
Apr - Sept: 7:30 - 17:30
Oct: 7:30 - 17:00
Open all year round
Primary School: ¥300
*Group discount available
Amex / Master / Visa / JCB / DC
Available Foreign Languages
No foreign language spoken (Japanese only)
Information in English
Credit cards only accepted at souvenir shop at the museum in Daibutsuden
- Contact Details