AsiaJapanNara

Chronicles of Nara

Nara Travel Blog

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On My way - over Siberia somewhere.

This was my first trip to Japan, or to Asia for that matter. As an introduction to oriental culture and history, Nara City is a treasure. The modern city is small and easy to get around, the people polite and friendly and the atmosphere is traditional Japanese. The Ancient city is in the hills above the modern section and is the oldest surviving city in Japan. The historical profile from the tourist office says:

"Nara was the oldest capital of Japan (710-784), and was the cradle of Japanese culture, arts and crafts. Buddhism first flourished here under the strong patronage of successive Emperors. Walking through the city's quiet streets is like strolling through the pages of history. Here you can find peace of mind and spiritual contentment"- The tourist brochure certainly speaks the truth! In 2010, Nara celebrated the 1,300th anniversary of its ascension as Japan's imperial capital.

Attending ASSP...
My purpose for visiting Nara was to attend a conference on solid-state photonics, which went well, but I had some free time before the conference to tour around and we had a half day excursion to the temples of Nara. Some of the highlights include Todai-ji Temple and Horu-ji Temple. Todai-ji is the worlds largest surviving wooden structure and contains Daibutsu Hall. Inside is the 'Great Buddha'. This is one Big Buddha and a most impressive statue. It's 15 meters tall and weighs 70 tons. Horu-ji Temple is the worlds oldest surviving wooden structure and contains the famous 5- storied Pagoda, Goju-no-To, the oldest in Japan. The UNESCO World Heritage Site "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara" encompasses eight places in the Nara Prefecture. While I am no expert on Japan, I would recommend visiting this place if you go.
Walk this way
 I left there with the impression that I had some glimpse of ancient Japan and the importace of Buddhism in the culture. It is small enough to see some main attractions in a day or two, but it is a place of rich cultural heritage and would take many days to fully explore. I should mention something about the deer in Nara. They roam everywhere and are quite tame. This adds something spiritual to the whole mosaic of peace and tranquility there. The deer are regarded as heavenly spirits that guard and protect the city. Snack vendors sell 'shika sembei', small biscuits, to visitors so they can feed the deer. They have even learned to bow in response to human bows, but of course it helps to have some 'shika sembei' to offer. They will nudge you for some if not offered. It's quite charming!

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On My way - over Siberia somewhere.
On My way - over Siberia somewhere.
Attending ASSP...
Attending ASSP...
Walk this way
Walk this way
Deer of Nara
Deer of Nara
Touring - Ancient Nara Momument.
Touring - Ancient Nara Momument.
Tribute to the Emperor.
Tribute to the Emperor.
The deer are tame.
The deer are tame.
Gateway, with deer...
Gateway, with deer...
Buddha hall (Daibutsuden), part of…
Buddha hall (Daibutsuden), part o…
Posing @ Buddha hall(Daibutsuden)
Posing @ Buddha hall(Daibutsuden)
Big Buddha
Big Buddha
Great Buddha (Daibutsu) - Its ok,…
Great Buddha (Daibutsu) - It's ok…
Posing with Golden Buddha
Posing with Golden Buddha
Golden Buddha
Golden Buddha
Komoku-Ten, guardian statue at Tod…
Komoku-Ten, guardian statue at To…
Japanese sculpture garden
Japanese sculpture garden
Pleasant spaces in ancient Nara
Pleasant spaces in ancient Nara
Lanterns
Lanterns
One big inscence bowl and one hand.
One big inscence bowl and one hand.
Thats some good shit, no wonder t…
That's some good shit, no wonder …
Old & New Nara
Old & New Nara
Ancient Nara bridge
Ancient Nara bridge
Posing @ Five-Tier Pagoda at Kofuk…
Posing @ Five-Tier Pagoda at Kofu…
Big staircase
Big staircase
Blessing man
Blessing man
Geisha
Geisha
Sushi
Sushi
Nice Garden
Nice Garden
Nice deer
Nice deer
My Poster lecture
My Poster lecture
Fancy staircase at lecture venue
Fancy staircase at lecture venue
Conference Lecture hall
Conference Lecture hall
Conference banquet
Conference banquet
Japanese musicians at conference B…
Japanese musicians at conference …
Saki Keg
Saki Keg
Opening the Saki Keg
Opening the Saki Keg
Banquet Buffet
Banquet Buffet
Posing at The Chumon (Inner Gate) …
Posing at The Chumon (Inner Gate)…
Ok, looking good!
Ok, looking good!
Nicely trimmed Japanese tree
Nicely trimmed Japanese tree
Goju-no-to pagoda & Golden Hall at…
Goju-no-to pagoda & Golden Hall a…
Posing @ Golden Temple
Posing @ Golden Temple
Goju-no-to five storied pagoda (27…
Goju-no-to five storied pagoda (2…
Posing @ Goju-no-to five storied p…
Posing @ Goju-no-to five storied …
Pagoda posing (Goju-no-to @ Horuji)
Pagoda posing (Goju-no-to @ Horuji)
Pagoda through the branches
Pagoda through the branches
Long and straight road...
Long and straight road...
Quite the long and straight road
Quite the long and straight road
Long Road posing
Long Road posing
Japanese dollar store
Japanese dollar store
VIDEO: Buddha Money
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Nara
photo by: yasuyo