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Nara Park News

Photo Essay: Kasuga Shrine — Three thousand lanterns of faith Special

Nara - The Kasuga Grand Shrine is one of the most important Shinto Shrines in Japan. The paths leading to the shrine and the grounds within the complex have thousands of stone and bronze lanterns conveying a feeling of beautiful harmony and religious mysticism.

Photo Essay: Architecture and Buddhist deities of Kofuku Temple Special

Nara - The Kofuku Temple complex in Nara, Japan, includes several beautiful historic buildings and treasured Buddhist figures representing a fine example of the religious culture and the development of Japanese art and architecture over the past 15 centuries.

Photo Essay: The 'sacred' deer of Nara Park Special

Nara - Nara Park, in the city of Nara, Japan, is home to a large population of deer who roam freely among the forest and vast lawns of the park, approach people, and add to the sense of peace and serenity given by historical Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.
 

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The Middle Gate and entrance to the Main Hall. In front of this gate there are several special lante...
The Middle Gate and entrance to the Main Hall. In front of this gate there are several special lanterns (red curved tops) described as Omiya-style lanterns.
When the stone lanterns are lit  the side openings are partially covered with paper to extend the bu...
When the stone lanterns are lit, the side openings are partially covered with paper to extend the burn time of the candles.
Most lanterns in the Inner Section of Kasuga Grand Shrine have similar shape  but different design o...
Most lanterns in the Inner Section of Kasuga Grand Shrine have similar shape, but different design on the side panels.
Sika deer are beautiful animals  quiet  gentle  and can provide a feeling of peace and serenity.
Sika deer are beautiful animals, quiet, gentle, and can provide a feeling of peace and serenity.
Many deer hang around the stalls selling rice bran crackers.
Many deer hang around the stalls selling rice bran crackers.
The three-story pagoda at Kofuku Temple holds four paintings on wood containing 1000 images of each ...
The three-story pagoda at Kofuku Temple holds four paintings on wood containing 1000 images of each of four different Buddha figures.
The Northern Octagonal Hall was built in 721. The present structure is a reconstruction of the origi...
The Northern Octagonal Hall was built in 721. The present structure is a reconstruction of the original from 1210. Several important figures, which are Japan's National Treasures, are housed in this building.
Bronze lanterns hang from the eaves of the Naoraiden Hall. The Mitarashi brook flows peacefully alon...
Bronze lanterns hang from the eaves of the Naoraiden Hall. The Mitarashi brook flows peacefully along several buildings in the inner area of the Shrine complex.
A recently placed lantern stands out among several older lamps. Most buildings  fences and gates in ...
A recently placed lantern stands out among several older lamps. Most buildings, fences and gates in a Shinto Shrine are painted orange-red (vermilion) and black.
This little one seems to be ready to provide directions to visitors on how to get to various places ...
This little one seems to be ready to provide directions to visitors on how to get to various places in the park.
The Eastern Golden Hall was built in 726. The present structure is a reconstruction of the original ...
The Eastern Golden Hall was built in 726. The present structure is a reconstruction of the original building dating from 1415. The hall contains a precious collection of Buddhist statues, paintings, ancient books, craftworks and historical documents.
This male deer  with antlers recently cut  waits closely for a cracker. A pack of crackers cost abou...
This male deer, with antlers recently cut, waits closely for a cracker. A pack of crackers cost about US$1,8.
Near the entrance to the Shrine one can buy  a  Onikuji  for ¥200. The Onikuji is a small piece of ...
Near the entrance to the Shrine one can buy a "Onikuji" for ¥200. The Onikuji is a small piece of paper, in the language of one's choice, where one's fortune is written. People tie the piece of paper to the twig of a tree to either promote good fortune or negate unfavourable predictions.
A children s sanctuary at Kofuku Temple. Red bibs are placed on small headstones as prayer for still...
A children's sanctuary at Kofuku Temple. Red bibs are placed on small headstones as prayer for still-born or aborted babies in the hope that it would shorten the time children have to suffer before being liberated into Nirvana.
Every pathway  corridor  or stairway in the grounds of Kasuga Grand Shrine is lined by stone lantern...
Every pathway, corridor, or stairway in the grounds of Kasuga Grand Shrine is lined by stone lanterns.
Deer love food handouts and follow people willing to give them  but I did not see a deer bowing befo...
Deer love food handouts and follow people willing to give them, but I did not see a deer bowing before receiving a morsel.
Lanterns on the way to Kasuga Shrine. Since nature is the focus of the Shinto religion  Shinto shrin...
Lanterns on the way to Kasuga Shrine. Since nature is the focus of the Shinto religion, Shinto shrines are frequently located at hillside forests or near natural environments.
Sika deer at Nara Park love the rice bran crackers and can be fairly insistent to obtain them.
Sika deer at Nara Park love the rice bran crackers and can be fairly insistent to obtain them.
The Temizuya. While clearing of the soul takes place during the walk along the path to the Shrine  p...
The Temizuya. While clearing of the soul takes place during the walk along the path to the Shrine, purification of the body occurs at the Temizuya, a water fountain and basin at the entrance to the shrine where worshipers wash their hands using the small wooden ladles.