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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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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 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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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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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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Many deer hang around the stalls selling rice bran crackers.
Many deer hang around the stalls selling rice bran crackers.
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The Southern Octagonal Hall was built in 813. The present structure is a reconstruction dating from ...
The Southern Octagonal Hall was built in 813. The present structure is a reconstruction dating from 1789. It is considered one of the most beautiful octagonal temples of Japan.
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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 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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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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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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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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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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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.
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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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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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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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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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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.
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A grandfather pays his respects to the Buddha of the children. The Three-story pagoda of Kofuku Temp...
A grandfather pays his respects to the Buddha of the children. The Three-story pagoda of Kofuku Temple can be seen in the background
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