Nigatsu-do The main hall of Nigatsu-do

The balcony of Nigatsu-do The view of NARA

Shigatsu-do A Path to Nigatsu-do

Walk up a gentle hill to the east from Todaiji Temple, a small wooden temple called Nigatsu-do(The Hall of the Second Month) is located as a part of Todaiji.

Nigatsu-do seemed to be built in the eighth century to enshrines statues of god that take the form of human. Nobody knows precisely when, why and how the temple was funded because any document are not remaining, though.The temple was destroyed by fire in 1667 and was rebuilt in 1669 with a support by the government at that time. Its architecture is pretty complicate as a lot of posts prop the building under the floor which is similar construction with Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto and Ishiyama Temple in Shiga. The main hall of Nigatsu-do has been designated as a National Treasure that faces the west and overlooks the city of Nara. Visitors line up along its balcony to reflect on the spectacular view. There are also Sangatsu-do(The Hall of the Third Month) and Shigatsu-do(The Hall of the Fourth Month) nearby.

In March every year, The temple has held Shunie, which is a Japanese Buddhism event to invoke people's and the nation's happiness, peace and pleasures for more than 1250 years consecutively. The event is called Omizutori or Otaimatsu as well. Otaimatsu is one of the most famous and spectacular event in Nara, even Japan. From six to Eight meters length of toarches are carried up to Nigatsu-do's balcony and held over the crowd. The burning embers shower on the people from the balcony.