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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.
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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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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 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 The hall contains a precious collection of Buddhist statues, paintings, ancient books, craftworks and historical documents.
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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.
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Large numbers of deer mingle fearlessly with visitors to Nara Park.
Large numbers of deer mingle fearlessly with visitors to Nara Park.
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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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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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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.
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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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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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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.
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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.
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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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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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Taking a mid-day rest under a tree.
Taking a mid-day rest under a tree.
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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.
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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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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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