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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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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.
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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.
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The Minamimon (South Gate). This is the main entrance to the shrine complex. Since the 8th Century t...
The Minamimon (South Gate). This is the main entrance to the shrine complex. Since the 8th Century the structures are renovated every 20 years, according to Shinto tradition.
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Beautiful  large bronze lanterns stand in front of the Main Hall of Kasuga Shrine. Note the relief i...
Beautiful, large bronze lanterns stand in front of the Main Hall of Kasuga Shrine. Note the relief images of "sacred" deer on the base of the lanterns.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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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.
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Kasuga Grand Shrine  Nara. The  Ninai Tea Room  is located next to the entrance to the Shrine’s Bo...
Kasuga Grand Shrine, Nara. The "Ninai Tea Room" is located next to the entrance to the Shrine’s Botanical Garden.
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Taking a mid-day rest under a tree.
Taking a mid-day rest under a tree.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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