A sub-shrine of Kasuga Taisha, founded in 1135 and reconstructed in 1863.
This museum is devoted to Buddhist art and is divided into two sections. Built in 1894, the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall & Ritual Bronzes Gallery contains a fine collection of butsu-z? (statues of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas). Buddhist images here are divided into categories, each with detailed English explanations for an excellent introduction to Mahayana Buddhist iconography. The newer East and West wings , a short walk away, contain the permanent collections (sculptures, paintings and calligraphy) and special exhibitions. A special exhibition featuring the treasures of the Sh?s?-in Hall, which holds the treasures of T?dai-ji, is held from late October to early November (dates vary slightly each year). The exhibits include priceless items from the cultures along the Silk Road. This exhibit is well worth it, but be prepared for crowds. Admission is ¥1000.
These sub-temples of Tōdai-ji are uphill from the Daibutsu-den and far less clamorous. Climb a lantern-lined staircase to Nigatsu-dō, a national treasure from 1669 (originally built circa 750). Its verandah with sweeping views across the town (especially at dusk) may remind you of Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto. This is where Nara's Omizutori Matsuri is held. A short walk south of Nigatsu-dō is Sangatsu-dō, the oldest building in the Tōdai-ji complex and home to a small collection of fine Nara-period statues. The halls are an easy walk east (uphill) from the Daibutsu-den. Instead of walking straight up the hill, we recommend taking a hard left out of the Daibutsu-den exit, following the enclosure past the pond and turning up the hill. This pathway is one the most scenic walks in all of Nara.