The Daibutsu beckons the pilgrim to Nara.
Daibutsu or Great Buddha sits quietly in the Todai-ji Temple, his right hand raised in the position of protection, reassurance and blessing,
The Buddha is surrounded by respectful throngs of travelers, tour groups and children who converge on Nara – a large city about thirty minutes by train from Kyoto.
The Buddha is 16m high (52 ft) and consists of 437 tonnes (480 tons) of bronze and 130kg (286 lbs) of gold.
Most of the important Nara sites are located in the Nara-Koen area: temples, towers, gardens and a species of small deer that sniffs the air in search of hidden snacks in pockets and purses.
On this sunny winter day, the sights are graceful, grand and enlightening.