Fodor's Expert Review Toshodai-ji Temple
The main entrance to Toshodai Temple, which was built in AD 751, is called the Path of History, since in Nara's imperial days dignitaries and priests trod this route; today it is lined with clay-walled houses, tranquil gardens, and the occasional shop selling crafts.
At the temple's entrance entasis pillars support the Nandai-mon (Great South Gate). Beyond the Nandai-mon is the Kon-do (Main Hall), a superb example of classical Nara architecture. It was restored in 2009. Inside the hall is a lacquer statue of Vairocana Buddha, the same incarnation of Buddha that is enshrined at Todai-ji. The halo surrounding him was originally covered with 1,000 Buddhas; now there are 864. In back of the Kon-do sits the Daiko-do (Lecture Hall), formerly an assembly hall of the Nara Imperial Court, the only remaining example of Nara palace architecture.