AsiaJapanNara

day trip to Nara

Nara Travel Blog

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Nara Park map
Due to jet lag, I woke up pretty early and headed down to the train station sometime after 7am. After figuring out where my train to Nara is, I bought the ticket and it was only a few minutes before the train showed up. There were lots of trains to Nara, every few minutes it seemed. The ride was about 40 minutes, and I arrived in Nara about 8:30am. Early enough that the tourist office in the train station was not even open!
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.
A tree dedicated to a Chinese Tang dynasty lady famous for her beauty and size.

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.
Deer and school kids at Nara

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.

portia says:
yeah, time goes fast!
Posted on: May 26, 2009
cmgervais says:
this brings back happy memories for me! I can't believe it was over a year ago that I was there...
Posted on: May 24, 2009
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Nara Park map
Nara Park map
A tree dedicated to a Chinese Tang…
A tree dedicated to a Chinese Tan…
Deer and school kids at Nara
Deer and school kids at Nara
Deer in front of the 5 story pagod…
Deer in front of the 5 story pago…
The five story pagoda in Nara Park
The five story pagoda in Nara Park
The Kofukuji temple next to the 5 …
The Kofukuji temple next to the 5…
temple bell hanging at the corner …
temple bell hanging at the corner…
a tea house along the path in Nara…
a tea house along the path in Nar…
A quiet corner in the park
A quiet corner in the park
Another quiet scene in the Nara Pa…
Another quiet scene in the Nara P…
At the Sagi-Ike Pond, the Ukimodo …
At the Sagi-Ike Pond, the Ukimodo…
deer on a pile of leaves raked up …
deer on a pile of leaves raked up…
more deer at the park
more deer at the park
Stone lanterns on the way to Kasug…
Stone lanterns on the way to Kasu…
Stone lanterns on the way to Kasug…
Stone lanterns on the way to Kasu…
Sign for Kasuga Shrine
Sign for Kasuga Shrine
The Nino-tori Gate before Kasuga S…
The Nino-tori Gate before Kasuga …
fountain for washing hands
fountain for washing hands
close-up of fountain for cleansing
close-up of fountain for cleansing
One of the buildings in Kasuga shr…
One of the buildings in Kasuga sh…
Kagami-ike pond and egret on the w…
Kagami-ike pond and egret on the …
One of the huge guardian statues a…
One of the huge guardian statues …
The other guardian statue at the g…
The other guardian statue at the …
roof lines of the Nandaimon Gate, …
roof lines of the Nandaimon Gate,…
another view looking up at the Nan…
another view looking up at the Na…
Me at the approach to Todaiji Temp…
Me at the approach to Todaiji Tem…
looking back from Todaiji Temple a…
looking back from Todaiji Temple …
many wooden doors of the Todaiji T…
many wooden doors of the Todaiji …
details of one of the door panels …
details of one of the door panels…
door panels at Todaiji Temple
door panels at Todaiji Temple
The Great buddha at Todaiji Temple
The Great buddha at Todaiji Temple
The Great buddha at Todaiji Temple
The Great buddha at Todaiji Temple
The Great buddha at Todaiji Temple
The Great buddha at Todaiji Temple
The Kokuzo Bosatsu (bodhisativa) t…
The Kokuzo Bosatsu (bodhisativa) …
The Koumokuten guardian at the lef…
The Koumokuten guardian at the le…
models of the temple
models of the temple
back of the great buddha in Todaij…
back of the great buddha in Todai…
heads of status on display at the …
heads of status on display at the…
The other guardian, this one hears…
The other guardian, this one hear…
one of the posts had a hole, and y…
one of the posts had a hole, and …
The Niyorin Kannon Bosatsu, on the…
The Niyorin Kannon Bosatsu, on th…
The Great Buddha viewed from the r…
The Great Buddha viewed from the …
Another detail of the door panel a…
Another detail of the door panel …
shops inside the temple
shops inside the temple
This statue of an arhat sits outsi…
This statue of an arhat sits outs…
statues with bibs near Kofuji Temp…
statues with bibs near Kofuji Tem…
a painter painting the 3 story pag…
a painter painting the 3 story pa…
the colorful lecture hall of the Y…
the colorful lecture hall of the …
Bell at Yakushiji Temple
Bell at Yakushiji Temple
the east pagoda (with 6 levels of …
the east pagoda (with 6 levels of…
beautiful corridors surround the m…
beautiful corridors surround the …
The main temple at Yakushiji Temple
The main temple at Yakushiji Temple
The east pagoda at Yakushiji Templ…
The east pagoda at Yakushiji Temp…
the west pagoda, reconstructed, at…
the west pagoda, reconstructed, a…
at Yakushiji Temple
at Yakushiji Temple
at Yakushiji Temple
at Yakushiji Temple
map at Yakushiji Temple
map at Yakushiji Temple
detail of a flower in many of the …
detail of a flower in many of the…
bamboo used to mark the edge?
bamboo used to mark the edge?
The hall at the at Yakushiji Templ…
The hall at the at Yakushiji Temp…
ditch and flowers along the road f…
ditch and flowers along the road …
Toshodaiji Temple, looking like it…
Toshodaiji Temple, looking like i…
for 600 yen, I decided it was not …
for 600 yen, I decided it was not…
part of subway map of Osaka
part of subway map of Osaka
Nara
photo by: yasuyo