When visiting Japan I heard about a big and beautiful temple in Nara, situated in the middle of a vast park, where the deer roam freely. In this temple you can see the largest in the world bronze Buddha Vairocana statue (almost 15 m tall ans weighs around 500 tonnes), simply known to everyone as Daibutsu (大仏). The name of that magnificant place is Tōdai-ji Temple which means Eastern Great Temple. And by all means - it is GREAT!
The area where the temple is placed is very beautiful and picturesque. I remember walking next to a small pond, the day was sunny and pleasant, there were a lot of people walking around, enjoying themselves. Many parents came with their kids to show them the park or feed the deer.
The first glimpse of the temple is unforgetable mainly because of its grandeur. It's difficult to imagine that the construction of the buildings started around 728, and again we have to admire the effort which was put into erecting it.
The statue of the Buddha has been reconstructed many times already due to, among others, fires and earthquakes. However, his posture, size and the kind face are truly remarkable. To see him properly you have to stand way back or look all the way up. I felt like a tiny ant under the giant's feet. The face and hands of the Buddha encourage us to come forward and escape the troubles for at least a few minutes.
Apart from the statue of Buddha there are also two scary looking guardians of the temple called Ungyo and Agyo. And in the main hall there is a possibility to see how the whole complex used to look before it was rebuild after two fires. Hard to believe, but the original Great Buddha Hall was even bigger than the contemporary one.
Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿 Daibutsuden)
The friendly deer :)
You can meet the deer everywhere in the park and outside the temple. The deer is said to be a god's messenger. They are quite tamed and well behaved and friendly - sometimes even too friendly ;). Especially when they see food. All around the Nara park you can buy special "deer biscuits" and feed it to the animals.
The official website of the Temple: http://www.todaiji.or.jp/