The Central and Great South Gates of the Todaiji, the most powerful of the Seven Great Temples of Nara when the city was the capital, are located at this end of the park. Besides the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue in the Great Buddha Hall, the other noteworthy structure is the Great South Gate, the largest temple entrance in Japan. It is also one of the few existing examples of the Daibutsu-yo religious architectural style, which originated from China and is characterised by thick wooden beams and decorative mouldings — an example of how the intersection of cultures was prevalent in the city’s history.

UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Kofukuji and Kasuga Taisha (known for its 3,000 stone lanterns) temples and Nara National Museum are a 10-minute stroll away. The Yoshikien and Isuien Gardens, where foliage-lined stone paths, a little stream and teahouse make for bucolic morning walks, are practically next door.


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