Global Programs Blog


Dameron Barron (JD '​20)
Legal and Internal Audit Department, Kobe Steel Group, Kobelco
Tokyo, Japan

From Nara with Love

city deerAnother city Fukuuchi-san and I visited was Nara. Like Kyoto, Nara was once the capital of Japan and remains one of Japan’s most esteemed national treasures.

Nara is known around the world for its wild deer and the city was in no shortage of them when we arrived! Deer were regarded as messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion and roam the grounds freely.

The Nara deer in Nara park were by no means shy and regularly walked up to us if we stood around in one spot for too long. The first thing we did was buy deer feed. As soon as we opened the food the deer came swarming. After feeding the eager deer, we headed off to see Kofuku temple.

Kofuku temple is one of the “Seven Great Temples” in the city of Nara, Japan. It was established in 669 by Kagami no Okimi. The temple was damaged and destroyed by civil wars and fires many times, and subsequently was rebuilt just as many times.

The Goju-no-to (five-storied pagoda) was magnificent.

The pagoda was clearly constructed in Japanese style by the placement of the rafters, but you could see the Chinese influences with the wooden pillars supporting the eaves at the top, as well as in the tails of the rafters.

The last place we visited in Nara was Toda-ji temple. This temple was the highlight of our visit in Nara.

It was the biggest temple I had ever seen, and it housed the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha. It also served as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism for a time.

Nara and the temples I saw that day were absolutely beautiful and it’s a memory I will not forget anytime soon.

Deer feeding
todaiji temple
great buddha hall
temple statue
Great buddha
temple statue
great buddha