Nara,Autumn leaves, temple deer meet up
Nara Travel Blog› entry 7 of 7 › view all entries
Mike, had such a good time meeting us all around this time last year, that he just had to come to Japan to catch up with us all again and what better way than to enjoy the Autumn folliage than to visit Nara, the first capital of Japan, celebrating 1300th year aniversary.
Autumn is the best time of year to visit Nara with its spacious parks, trees full of golden, red hues flourishing in the autumn sunlight, temples and shrines throughtout the city makes for great backdrops looming in the background, while hungry deers and fawns wait in anticipation for tourists to handout cookies that are sold by aging vendors.
'Delicious,delicious', I heard vendors shout out to tourists as they walked by trying to sell the crackers for the deer, how do they know its delicious I thought when this food is for deers, when they get hungry do they also sample some of the goodies.
Mike, Yasuyo and Ayaka all travbuddies on the outing, quickly hand over the money the lady gives a toothless grin and gives them the crackers the deers don't wait they know its meal time they quickly prance over to them with their damp, button noses,and sniff at the bag, they butt heads against one another as well as butting Mike, looking at him trying to entice Mike to hand over some food, Mike gives in and they scoff the cracker down before Mike can even get another one out, these animals are supposed to be wild, you would think they know how to scourage for food but they are too spoilt with buldging bellies they are dependant on the tourists.
Strolling through the grounds, rustling of leaves underneath our feet, aromas of sweet potatoes and roasted chestnuts fill the air, the autumns follage of bright red and yellow leaves, glow in the bright sunlight ,people play, throw leaves at one another while other people are happy to take photos as we approach Todaiji temple the star attraction in Nara.
Todaiji temple is the largest wooden building in the world and houses the Great Buddha- one of the largest bronze images in the world. It sits there 16 metres high with its arm raised, its palm held out flat, its hair in tight coils, its impressive but you relize big does not neccessarily mean beautiful. The buddha has done his job though as Emperor Shomu originally built buddha has a charm against small pox which ravaged Japan in its preceding years.
People look at the buddha in awe, some people pray, pay their respects before circling the buddha, towards the back a large line has formed, children down on all fours, squeeze through a hole in the pillar the same size as the bronzed buddhas nostril. Popular belief has it that those who can crawl through it are ensured of enlightment.
Mike was wanting to buy a souvenier he could take back to New York with him so we wandered down to NaraMachi a traditional shopping street, near the Kintetsu station. Nara machi is now filled with mostly souvenier shops,small cafes and traditional sweet shops housed in traditional buildings. Mike searched long and hard before he found the perfect yukata for him, a male summer kimono. The girls and Mike tried some mochi after watching it be squished and squashed and by 2 Japanese men hitting it with a long, wooden malletwhile I settled for some takoyaki. With people waiting for us in Osaka it was time to get back.
Namba, the party scene in Osaka where it was time to join in with other travbuddies in drinking and eating festivities in all there were 14 of us enjoying the meal consisting of yaki soba, okonomiyaki, sausages, pork kimchi, salad and more plus free flowing alcohol for 2 hours.
See you guys again real soon.