In the northern part of Nara Park is Todaiji Temple, which was originally built in 752 to be the head of all provincial Buddhist temples in Japan. Todaiji’s main hall used to be the world’s largest wooden structure until the 1990s but the current hall, which was finished in 1709, is actually about 30% smaller than the original hall. Regardless, it’s still an impressively large wooden building and it feels almost like an Asian version of the great cathedrals of Europe. The hall is most notably home to a massive bronze Buddha statue that is about 52 feet tall. According to Wikipedia, casting the Great Buddha of Nara required most of Japan’s supply of bronze and completing it almost bankrupted the country. On either side of the Great Buddha are smaller Buddha statues and in the back of the hall you can find a model of what the original hall looked like, as well as a large guardian statue.
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