The true size of this temple cannot be done justice in pictures. The large buddhas inside leave you in awe. The surrounding garden area is very impressive. I really recommend visiting during sakura season if you can.
Todaji Temple is the second largest wooden structure on the planet. It was built in the Nara period at the instruction of Emperor Shomu.
Some interesting facts about the temple. Emperor Shomu issued a law in Japan which stated that the people should become directly involved with the creation of new Buddhist temples throughout the country. Thanks to the law, 2,600,000 people were involved in the building of the Great Buddha Hall, and the statue inside.
Another crazy fact, the Great Buddha Hall is 1/3 smaller than the original, having burnt down in 1180 AD, and then again in 1567 AD. That’s what you get when you build it entirely out of wood. I think that every temple I have been to so far in Kyoto has been burnt down and rebuilt. Inside the hall is the statue of the Vairocana Buddha. It is also known as the, “Buddha that shines throughout the world like a sun.”
This is the world’s largest bronze image of the Buddha. Towering up at 14.98 meters. The construction of this Buddha became close to bankrupting the Japanese economy at the time; consuming all of the available bronze in the country.