Japan 2015 Day 30: Nara

Weather: slightly cloudy with a shower or two 15°C, high 23°C

Accommodation: Guesthouse Nara Komachi.

Eskil watched a Curious George; it was even one we haven’t seen at home. Too bad it was in Japanese.

I thought we were finally going to get going, then Curious George started.

Afterwards we headed out to check out Nara. Scott got us day bus passes – kinda cool wooden ones. We got onto the very packed bus – with a school group from Perth! We took the bus to the stop near the Todaiji Temple. After being in some of the less touristy areas of Japan, Nara felt almost like a bit of a shock. It’s a major tourist destination! LOTS of people.
Heading to the Todaiji Temple. After travelling around less touristy parts of Japan, this was a bit of a shock!
We had a rain shower as we approached Todaiji Temple, but nothing too bad. It was quite impressive – not just the huge Buddha statue but the scale of the temple building itself.
Bronze Budda, Tōdai-ji
That's a column

We wandered further into the parklands, which are littered with temples and UNESCO world heritage sites. Eskil enjoyed seeing deer again!
E's friend
We walked a big loop around Nara Park. The next place we stopped was Nigatsu-dō, which was stunning. Sorry, but it’s really hard to just choose one or two photos!
Dragon temizuya at Nigatsu-dō
Temizuya at Nigatsu-dō
Nigatsu-dō Lanterns
Nigatsu-dō Lanterns
Views from Nigatsu-dō
Leaving Nigatsu-dō
Next we headed past more UNESCO world heritage sites – yawn – and made our way to Wakakusayama, where there were LOTS of deer. Eskil was pleased.
Deer at Wakakusayama
From here we turned downhill into a forested area near a brook. You could tell the season was turning towards autumn.
Some autumn
We could hear a strange sound and saw this majestic beast in a small clearing!
There was a strange call from a forest clearing - from this big guy
We continued through the park past temples, deer, and temples and deer.
Eventually our feet were sore and we were back near the bus line, so on we hopped. It was SO CROWDED. But there was a toddler singing. He wouldn’t stop. His mum and grandmother were a bit embarrassed, but it was also hilarious. It was a bit of a squeeze, but we gave him a little koala as we got off the bus. We got off the bus on Sanjo Dori and found a bakery. Aaah – food and coffee! We continued along Sanjo Dori – and bumped into Sento-kun. Half deer and half Buddha – VERY Nara!
Sento-kun, Nara's controversial mascot
Some ladies gave Eskil some deer crackers, but unfortunately we didn’t bump into any deer after that! We went past Kofukuji Temple and the 5 story pagoda.
Kofukuji Temple, Eastern Golden Hall and 5 story pagoda
Next we took the bus out to Toshodaiji Temple, away from the busiest parts of Nara.
Kondo - Main or Golden Hall - Toshodaiji Temple
It’s a lovely and rather peaceful site with beautiful gardens to wander through.
Bell, Toshodaiji Temple
Garden wall, Toshodaiji Temple
Rooftop dragon, Toshodaiji Temple
A spot of colour, Toshodaiji Temple
Mossy, Toshodaiji Temple
I loved that this storehouse looked so much like the food storehouses in Sweden!
This could almost be an old Swedish food storehouse, however it is a Kyozo (storehouse of sutras) at Toshodaiji Temple
Storage house at Siljanskolan
As we scampered to the bus, I got to take a quick snap of some rice being harvested!!
Rice Harvest
Bus driver, Nara
We had a little rest back at the guesthouse, then headed out to Sanjōchō for dinner. The restaurant we wound up at seemed to be the same as one we’d eaten at in Kumamoto. In Kumamoto we had been a bit baffled by the ordering, but as we had already worked it out by the end of that meal we had an easier time.
Nara by Night
We bought a few supplies at the grocery store at the train station, then headed ‘home’.
Playing with Pooh

More photos can be viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/cragg-ohlsson/archives/date-taken/2015/10/12/.

Sento-kun, Nara's controversial mascot