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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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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.
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.
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.
Large numbers of deer mingle fearlessly with visitors to Nara Park.
Large numbers of deer mingle fearlessly with visitors to Nara Park.
The Fujinaminoya. A hall in the inner section of  Kasuga Shrine with an astounding collection of bra...
The Fujinaminoya. A hall in the inner section of Kasuga Shrine with an astounding collection of brass and bronze lanterns. These lanterns remain lit continuously.
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.
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.
Some deer are very curious and venture into shops selling deer souvenirs to visitors.
Some deer are very curious and venture into shops selling deer souvenirs to visitors.
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.
Nara deer have learned to remain in the forest or within the boundaries of the park and to avoid veh...
Nara deer have learned to remain in the forest or within the boundaries of the park and to avoid vehicles and traffic accidents.
View of the  Utsushidono  building. At least 1000 brass and bronze lanterns hang from the structures...
View of the "Utsushidono" building. At least 1000 brass and bronze lanterns hang from the structures in the inner section of the Kasuga Grand Shrine.
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.
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.
The path to Kasuga Grand Shrine is lined with hundreds of lanterns. The purpose of the fairly long p...
The path to Kasuga Grand Shrine is lined with hundreds of lanterns. The purpose of the fairly long pathway is to provide time and space for visitors to clear their minds and prepare for worship.
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.
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.
Deer spend most of the time grazing under the trees in what seems to be family groups composed of yo...
Deer spend most of the time grazing under the trees in what seems to be family groups composed of young and adults. Most of the trees have wire mesh covers to protect them from the deer.
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.

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