day trip to Nara
Nara Travel Blog› entry 2 of 17 › view all entries
May 21st, 2009 – by: portia
There are two train stations in Nara, the one I arrived at was a bit closer, the Kintetsu-Nara station. So I just started walking in the direction of Nara Park, and next to the first pond, there was another visitors office. A young lady there was there to help me with a local map, and told me where some places of interest were.
I just took my time and walked around the park. The first stop was the Five-story Pagoda, an imposing wooden structure with what will be a common site in Nara Park, deer! Many of them, just roaming and waiting to be fed by people! You can buy some deer cake/cookies for 150 Yen. And the deer follow those who had cookies for them!
There were many quiet places in Nara Park, but there were also many school kids in other parts. The Nandaimon Gate was very impressively big, leading to the Todaiji Temple, which housed the Great Buddha, it's impressively tall and quite beautiful, the two Bosatsu (bodhisattva) flanking him were also beautiful, but of obvious Japanese style. The heavenly guardians looked very similar to the ones in China and even had the same names (one sees and one hears everything).
After Nara Park, I found a random resturant and had some udon for lunch, I was sitting where I could see the cook cooking something very interesting (big pancake like thing with lots of vegetables, some meat, eggs on top, and flattened) it was way more than I could eat, so I just looked at it while eating my udon.
I walked around Naramachi looking for an ATM, but none worked for me. The one in the Post Office had max of 10000 yen and didn't work anyway.
I took the train and transferred to go to Yakushi-ji temple on the west side of Nara, Yakushi-ji templ complex cost 800 Yen for admission, which is a lot more than the 500Yen for the Todaiji Temple with the Great Buddha. But the east and west pagodas are very lovely and the grounds too. There were even more school kids visiting this temple, which had a very elegant kannon statue also a national treasure of Japan.
The sun was finally starting to come out of the clouds, but it was time to head back to Osaka to get some rest, around 5pm.
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