AsiaJapanNara

2010 04 19 - Nara day 1

Nara Travel Blog

 › entry 27 of 41 › view all entries
Once again, I had put my tent up in deer-territory

I woke up well rested at 12 the next morning in front of Kohfukuji heritage, surrounded by deer getting fed deer-cookies by tourists. After Nara I would go to Mount Fuji and that would be my biggest hitchhiking trip by far so I wanted to start hitchhiking before 4. But Nara had other plans for me. There was just to much to see and I kept making photoos like every other tourist there. I visited the Kohfukuji heritage, the Nara park, the area surrounding the huge Bhudda and some of Nara city.

I started hitchhiking way after 6 and only knew I had to get to Tenri first which would be 30 minutes.

I had actually put it up there because it was right in front of the Kohfukuji temple precinct
I got my first 20 minute ride quickly from 2 "backpacking" boys that had just finished working as grape pickers for 6 months in Australia. My second lift was from a Tenri-local woman (my first ride by only 1 woman) that drove me to the Tenri Freeway/Highway. The only way I would make it to Mount Fuji that night would be by getting on the Highway so I walked up there and was immediately  picked up by ..... a policecar driving me to the policestation. I was only told "no troublem, no arrested" and had to explain myself with the help of an English translator on the phone. After he thoroughly explained hitchhiking rules in Japan (everything is allowed except standing/walking on the highway) I was told that it was too dark and dangerous to continue hitchhiking but that the regional (but very international) religious group would take care of me that night. So a few hours later I was making my bed in a strange building that was a combination of a dojo and wedding hall, wondering about the religion I would get explained the next day and postponing my plans for Mount Fuji by a day.
These deers were more accustomed to humans and more relaxed than the deer in Miyajima. Or they were simply less hungry because everyone fed them deer-cookies you could buy everywhere for 150 Yen
This building was located in ..... Tenri, the place where I was plucked from the highway hours ago.

 

History of the Kohfukuji (temples at Nara)
699 Founded by the wife of Fujiwara Kamatari (very important family from 8th to 12th century) in Kyoto for his private worshipping. Moved to Umayasaka (Nara prefecture) after a few years and moved to Nara in 710
710 to 11th century: Many family members and other important people keep adding buildings, making it 1 of 7 great temples of Nara during the height of the Nara-period
11th century to 1180: During the many civil wars the monks in the Kohfukuji temples also received combat training and the Fujiwara family became even more influentual (political, cultural and spiritual) untill it started losing influence and choose the losing (Genji) side in the Heike vs Genji clanwar.

The Tokon-do (East Buddha's Hall) and Goju-no-to (Five Storied Pagoda)
Almost all temples were burned down.
End of Fujuwara, beginning of Kamakura period: Eventually the Genji side did win and with their help Kohfukuji was almost entirely rebuild and also restored a lot of its political power. It was never as culturally and spiritually influentual though.
End of Kamakura period, 1717: The Kohfukuji temples kept taking damages from civil wars and fires of which the last one burned down all remaining original buildings. Everything that is standing today has been rebuild in the Kamakura period or later.

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Once again, I had put my tent up i…
Once again, I had put my tent up …
I had actually put it up there bec…
I had actually put it up there be…
These deers were more accustomed t…
These deers were more accustomed …
The Tokon-do (East Buddhas Hall) …
The Tokon-do (East Buddha's Hall)…
Left bottom: small gong with a ham…
Left bottom: small gong with a ha…
A big group of Buddhists was hymmi…
A big group of Buddhists was hymm…
I never found out what these stone…
I never found out what these ston…
And this was the hall I saw the ni…
And this was the hall I saw the n…
Anyone seen Mulan? I expected to h…
Anyone seen Mulan? I expected to …
Hungry deer again. It was my own f…
Hungry deer again. It was my own …
Japan has really opened up lately.…
Japan has really opened up lately…
In front of the big gate was a gua…
In front of the big gate was a gu…
...and a guardian on the left
...and a guardian on the left
Big Ben, Japan style. If you want …
Big Ben, Japan style. If you want…
Must...resist...using....bell
Must...resist...using....bell
Just a restaurant, made to look li…
Just a restaurant, made to look l…
This gate comes after the giant (g…
This gate comes after the giant (…
This is where the real giant Buddh…
This is where the real giant Budd…
The right-front guardian
The right-front guardian
The left-front guardian
The left-front guardian
The giant Bhudda looks all alone...
The giant Bhudda looks all alone...
First part of a description that t…
First part of a description that …
Second part of a description that …
Second part of a description that…
And this is the design they were t…
And this is the design they were …
The giant Bhudda turned out not to…
The giant Bhudda turned out not t…
The left-back guardian
The left-back guardian
A 1:50 model of the middle gate, s…
A 1:50 model of the middle gate, …
The right-back guardian
The right-back guardian
The giant Bhudda turned out not to…
The giant Bhudda turned out not t…
Binzuru, the rub/heal disciple, no…
Binzuru, the rub/heal disciple, n…
Nara
photo by: yasuyo