On the Approach to the Todaiji Temple in Nara
This is the Small One a gate on the approach to the Todaiji Temple (東大寺 の 南大門), Nara, Japan -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm — 1/100 sec, f/6.3, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
This is the Small One
a gate on the approach to the Todaiji Temple (東大寺南大門),
Nara, Japan

Dipping into the largely-untapped reservoir of things I want to post about, here are some pictures from a December 2012 visit to the Todaiji Temple (東大寺) in Nara, about an hour's train ride south of Kyoto. I posted a bit from that trip in That Massive Column in Nara’s Todaiji Temple Is Nothing To Sneeze At, but it's a visually rich place, so I've been wanting to post much more.

I'd made the trip to take some pictures for a friend who is the author of Lonely Planet's Japan guidebook. A few of the photos from this trip made it into the most recent edition. Another friend, Aeron, was kind enough to make the trek with me.

The Todaiji Temple site is impressively large, dating back almost 1,300 years. On the approach we took is a massive wooden gate that seems to exist merely to set you up for the substantially-more-impressive sights that wait beyond.

Todaiji in a Nutshell deer, school kids, big wooden buildings -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Todaiji in a Nutshell
deer, school kids, big wooden buildings

Looking through the gate you can see another behind, and beyond that the temple's main building towers so high that you can't see the top of its roof.

The gate, called the Great Southern Gate (南大門), is interesting enough in its own right. It was originally built in 962, but the one standing today is a reconstruction built just 815 years ago. (The sign near the top of the photo is new, giving 「大華厳寺」, apparently an old name for the temple.)

Here's a shot exposed to reveal the detail under the roof:

Holding Up Well for 815-year-old construction -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Holding Up Well
for 815-year-old construction

As with many temple gates, two guardians flank the sides of the gate. (Wikipedia tells me they're called Kongorikishi, and describes them as wrath-filled muscular guardians of the Buddha). They're almost 25½ feet tall, so they're almost 4½ times my height. Their situation is not conducive to good photos, but here's one:

Wrath Filled and Muscular -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3600 — map & image datanearby photos
Wrath Filled and Muscular

The other statue, at my back while taking this shot, was carved in 1203. This one dates from the same era, though I couldn't find out for sure what year this one was carved.

Here's a wigglegram to make you feel as if you're there; wiggle your mouse over the image...

Animatable — slowly sweep mouse from side to side to view effect
写真の上をマウスで左右にゆっくり動かすといろいろな影響を見えます。

Moving then beyond the gate, you can see the next gate and, far beyond that, the roof of the main temple building...

Locals -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/1600 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Locals

The deer in Nara can be extremely aggressive, and I can report from personal experience that they have no qualms about coming up behind you to bite the bag out of your hand if you just bought a snack from a vendor. Care should be taken with fingers and small children.

Of course, tourist can't always provide breakfast, so some deer are forced to fend for themselves...

Quick Breakfast -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/1600 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Quick Breakfast
desktop background image of a small shrine gate reflected in a lake at the Todaiji Temple (東大寺), Nara Japan -- Small Lake Along the Way -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Small Lake Along the Way
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600  ·  2880×1800
Untamed if they were tamed, they'd be giving the deer food -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Untamed
if they were tamed, they'd be giving the deer food
In-Camera HDR HDR was supposed to be this , but here it apparently means “ Highly Distorted Reality ” -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/6.3, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
In-Camera HDR
HDR was supposed to be this, but here it apparently means Highly Distorted Reality

Once you enter the paid area, your get your first clean view of the main temple building, which is stupendously large for an all-wooden building constructed hundreds of years ago....

Lots of Tiny Doors that are actually each colossally large -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of Tiny Doors
that are actually each colossally large
Incense Burner there was one at either end of the long approach walkway -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/1250 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Incense Burner
there was one at either end of the long approach walkway
Aeron and Incense Burner -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Aeron and Incense Burner
Not Too Crowded -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Not Too Crowded
Massively Overexposed By Accident but sort of looks interesting in B&W -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/3.5, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Massively Overexposed By Accident
but sort of looks interesting in B&W
False-Color Shot playing around with this one, I colored the yellow/brown grass green -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
False-Color Shot
playing around with this one, I colored the yellow/brown grass green
Fire Extinguisher at the Ready -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Fire Extinguisher at the Ready
Roof Detail -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/200 sec, f/10, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Roof Detail
Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/16, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of Detail way up there -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of Detail
way up there
I See You large incense burner just outside the entrance, opposite the one seen above -- Todaiji (東大寺) -- Nara, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
I See You
large incense burner just outside the entrance, opposite the one seen above

To be continued...


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