Nara Sanctuary =)
Nara Travel Blog› entry 10 of 15 › view all entries
I have to say that it was the most wonderful and exciting day I had in Japan!
I had a nice time connecting with nature - I fed lots of deers and in return I got played around by those cuties. They chewed my hands, my clothes and my bag, they kicked my butt with great pleasure like I was some sort of a plush toy for their play and finally they licked me all over, even in my nose =) That was really funny!
Let's start from the beginning. Once I woke up I immediately checked out the weather outside and lucky enough there was no rain, at last! The streets were quite foggy so unfortunately no chance for Kyoto Tower... But I wasn't upset, on the opposite I was in high spirits =) I packed like a soldier - quickly and efficient and went out to Kyoto Station where I hopped on JR Nara Line rapid service train directly to Nara Station.
I got off the train and accidentally took the wrong exit so I had to go around the station (stupid woman, should have returned back and go through it but wah... Why I'm not surprised? =)) So I felt really happy that it was nice and almost shiny. It was still cloudy but from time to time the sun was able to shine through the clouds. I had only one pair of shoes with me and I was glad they somehow dried out during the night - that was awesome enough! (it looks like you don't need much to be happy =))
Today I decided to stick sharp to the map, so whenever I take turn I'll have to see it on the map first.
I bought the ticket to visit exhibition at Eastern Golden Hall of Kofukuji. It was very interesting and educational. I saw many huge statues of much importance in religious and historical matters. Unfortunately you can't take pictures, those exhibits are considered as national treasures and important cultural property.
After that I passed through Nara Sanctuary park with countless deers. I was trying to stick to the map but I felt that I'm missing something. I found out way later that I successfully wandered off the right course =) Ok, I wasn't lost completely, I just made a detour from my original plan. The trees became taller and the park became darker and air was damper. I felt like I was stepping under water, cold air waves were like some slithering creatures crawling from under the ground and hugging me tight under my raincoat.
I left the Shrine and took a turn according to my map. I started to make it deeper and deeper into the forest with no people around. It was clearly a wrong way to go. Little Blue Riding Hood made her way to some road with a street map. According to it I had to go back and make a sharp turn for good =) I was a bit angry at myself - making the same mistakes again was beyond belief! I was going through the forest, cold and shivering - all alone with lonely deers jumping in and out of the forest in front of me.
As I planned - I took a sharp turn and found myself on the road with lots of Cherry Blossoming trees around. For the first time I was happy to be all alone and lost =) There were no people around, not a single one! I took lots and lots of pictures of pink carpet naturally made of cherry petals covering the ground all over and headed straight to Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine as the street sign suggested. I slowed down a bit since I was already close to Todaji Temple and explored Sangatsu-Do Hall and Nigatsu-Do Hall.
Then I headed to Todaiji Temple.
After I had a good look inside I felt tired and sat on the sidewalk watching people around. Some school kids were sitting next to me but they were too shy to talk to me they were just looking at me with interest and I saw some people taking a picture of me like I was some sort of alien creature, I was a little embarrassed but nothing I could do about it.
I walked back to Nara station through Nara Park again. With less people around I was able to take even more pictures and play with deers to my heart content. On the way to the station I decided to buy something to eat and buy some little souvenirs. I saw McDonald's and felt relieved =) as long as it was cooked food I was happy! I bought Ebi burger - made of shrimps, it was a nice change to regular menu. I felt a little uncomfortable eating there because I was like center of attention - people were staring at me and it was unbearable for me to eat under such intense pressure =) I put the rest of the food in my backpack and ran to the station. To top it up, on my way back to Kyoto I was sitting opposite a young man who was staring at me all the time.