Nara

Nara

We tried really hard to sleep in today but got up just before 7am. Today is a day trip to Nara which was 1 hour outside Tokyo on a local train. In Nara there are heaps of deers which apparently are messengers of the gods! You can buy these biscuits for 150yen to feed them with. Bambi was everywhere!!

“This beautiful lawn park extends 4km east to west and 2km north to south. Groups of deer who are thought to be messengers of the gods, roam freely through the park. Its beautiful landscape with half-hidden views of temple and shrine rooftops enchants visitors throughout the seasons.”

The walk around the park is beautiful and cool and lined with stone lanterns the whole way. We got all the way to the top of the park then headed down towards the Todaiji Temple which is the biggest wooden structure in the world and inside it is the largest indoor Buddah in the world!

“The world famous Todaiji Temple, designated as a world heritage site, contains various pavilions and halls, including many designated as national treasures of Japan. Among them, the “Daibutsuden Hall” is the world’s largest wooden structure, and the home of the popular “Great Buddha of Nara”. This gigantic statue is 15m tall and weighs approximately 250 tonnes.”

Back to Kyoto in the train and we headed to the Kiyomizu-dera Temple which is up in the hills of East Kyoto, not far from our hostel. The temple is just perched on the edge of a mountain over looking Kyoto and we were there for sunset. The road leading away from the temple is called teapot lane because of all the pottery stores found there.

“The expression “to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu” is the Japanese equivalent of the English expression “to take the plunge.” Kiyomizu-dera Temple is perhaps the most beloved of Kyoto’s temples, and is a fixture in the minds of the Japanese people. The temple’s platform juts out of the side of a mountain supported by 13-meter-high wooden columns. The main hall with its distinctive hip-shaped roof of cypress bark rests on the platform, and houses within it a priceless statue of Kannon Bodhisattva, the goddess of mercy. From the platform, one can appreciate fine views facing west over the city of Kyoto. This is an auspicious place to watch the sun set, which may also explain the romantic associations accorded to the temple.”

After several drinks at the hostel (the cheapest in Japan by far) we thought we should head out for dinner so we walked towards the station and found this random little place. We had no idea what we were ordering but ended up with a really nice meal! Don’t drink in Japan…it’s so expensive!! A beer is $10-15!

Back to the hostel to pack and get ready for Hiroshima in the morning.