Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 18, 2010 Nara Day

We got up early today and April was happy to get a call from her father. We took the subway to the Kyoto station and then caught the JR train to Nara. We arrived around 10:30 a.m. and got a map of the town and walked up towards Nara park. We stopped for some Ramen noodles with Tempura for an early lunch. We decided to see the big Buddha first and then look at the deer.

However, plans are made to be broken. We ran into the deer fast and decided to buy the deer cookies they sell for them and feed them. While April was feeding them she ended up with three hounding her pushing her back in an attack of the deer type stance. While Bill was feeding the deer one of them put his whole snout in Bill’s pocket, pulled out the map of Nara and then ate it in front of us. Bill tried to see if it was more interested in a cookie and April tried to salvage it by pulling it out but it was too far-gone.  I guess he was trying to tell us too take it easy and not try to see everything. The deer will let you stroke them for the most park but the bunting with the antlers is a little unnerving especially given the signs warning of goring danger around.

We saw a five-tiered pagoda. Then we went to see Daibutsuden, the hall of the great Buddha. It is apparently the largest wooden structure on earth. The Buddha is apparently a few feet taller than the one we saw in Kamakura. We saw the wooden column that you crawl through to be assured of enlightenment. Luckily April did this when she was three because we were both too big to fit through today we got a picture beside it though. We walked through the park some more and found a free garden called the Yoshikien Garden. We walked through the pond garden, moss garden, and tea ceremony garden. Then we went next door to the Isui-en Garden where we went to a teahouse and sat in a tatami room and had matcha tea with sweets and overlooked the garden. We wrote postcards and contemplated the trip. Then we left and looked at artisan shops in town.

We found a used Kimono for a steal of a price in Nara at an antique shop. They value things differently here- used T-shirts and jeans will go for a premium but a used pure silk kimono and obi will go for about $20 Canadian.  We ended up a McD’s for dinner because we couldn’t find anything else around the train station when we were ready to catch the train back. We took the train at a about 6:40 pm and arrived back at the hotel at around 8:00 pm. 

Deer can be vicious

April risking her life feeding the vicious deer

Big buddha 

Big wooden building where they keep the big buddha

Green tea with little sweet treats

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