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Nara Sanctuary =)

Nara Travel Blog

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On the streets of Nara...

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.

On the streets
I had about 50 minutes ride, train wasn't full but still almost all sits were occupied. Next to me there was a lady with a little baby. The baby was in some sort hanging device attached to her chest. He was extremely cute and super quiet. Almost all the time he was looking at me with a surprised expression but I bet all babies are like this =) So it was fun.

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.

Passing by some Shrine may be
.. Aha, wishful thinking, of course. At first it was easy because it was just one street leading you right to Kofukuji Temple Complex. I went inside the Complex and first thing I was caught in a shower of pink Cherry petals blown around by friendly wind... It was breathtaking, I spent some time indulging myself in the bliss and taking endless pictures of surroundings. Then I moved closer to Five-story Pagoda and had some fun playing with some lazy deers who begged everyone for food. A little later I bought special cookies for them and fed them little by little. They are very greedy, so be careful feeding them, don't show them all, hide them in your pocket or in the bag. They can still sniff it out but it's more safer than holding cookies in your hand.
Colors
 

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.

Contrasts
.. It was a little spooky with twilight around. There were many stone lanterns along the road and rarely there were some deers running between the trees. Finally I reached Kasuga Taisha Shrine and realized yet again how far was I from Todaiji Temple. So I decided to enjoy surrounding and went inside the Shrine grounds. There were many young priests and priestesses, they were all beautifully dressed. For some reason I didn't feel comfortable taking their pictures as they are religious figures after all. 

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.

Three-story Pagoda
.. Suddenly the rain started to fall through thick branches, not again! I didn't want to take an umbrella out so I put my hood hoping that rain stops soon. I saw some human beings in the vicinity, that was a good sign =) 

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.

Three-story Pagoda
There were many visitors, most of them were educational school trips. They all waited in a queue for their own guide assigned by Todaiji Temple Office. I went by myself so I was free to choose where to go and how much time to spend here and there. I went inside Great Buddha Hall and was stunned by the size of the building itself and by Giant Buddha. The size of Buddha is - Height: 14.98 m (49.1 ft), Face: 5.33 m (17.5 ft), Eyes: 1.02 m (3.3 ft), Nose: 0.5 m (1.6 ft), Ears: 2.54 m (8.3 ft). That's just unbelievable! It's hard to feel the size from the pictures, you have to be there. 

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.

Cherry Blossoms

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.

Pagoda and Cherry Blossoms
I thought that it was a good way of torture as I was clearly felt like losing my sanity. While staring at me he even took out his cell phone as casually as possible and started snapping pictures... I just didn't know what to do. Despite all his attention he didn't ask me anything even though I'm a friendly person in general. Maybe I had that terrified expression on my face? ...who knows. Such things happen too.

LostInSpace2010 says:
On the train it was kind of torturous because I couldn't escape and felt like I'm some kind of creature that needed to be photographed and documented =) I actually thought that I looked funny! =)
Posted on: Aug 08, 2010
alyssa_ob says:
I would say be glad they wanted to take your photo (assume it was for good reasons, not that you looked funny). I was with some girlfriends in Peru and some kids wanted to take pictures with my friends, but not me. I was a little sad, but clearly I got over it. Ha ha! So much for being sneaky though. I wonder how many times I thought I was being sneaky but people were on to me?
Posted on: Aug 03, 2010
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On the streets of Nara...
On the streets of Nara...
On the streets
On the streets
Passing by some Shrine may be
Passing by some Shrine may be
Colors
Colors
Contrasts
Contrasts
Three-story Pagoda
Three-story Pagoda
Three-story Pagoda
Three-story Pagoda
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Pagoda and Cherry Blossoms
Pagoda and Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Kofukuji Temple Complex
Kofukuji Temple Complex
Kofukuji Temple Complex
Kofukuji Temple Complex
Drawing artists...
Drawing artists...
Kofukuji Temple Complex
Kofukuji Temple Complex
Kofukuji Temple Complex
Kofukuji Temple Complex
Sleeping deer
Sleeping deer
Relaxing under the tree
Relaxing under the tree
Natural inhabitants =)
Natural inhabitants =)
Five-story Pagoda
Five-story Pagoda
Kofukuji Temple Complex
Kofukuji Temple Complex
Roof
Roof
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Deers eating some cherry blossoms …
Deers eating some cherry blossoms…
Little beggar
Little beggar
*You have to scratch my head, my e…
*You have to scratch my head, my …
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Along the road
Along the road
Museum
Museum
Passing by
Passing by
Streets
Streets
Streets
Streets
Lanterns
Lanterns
Road along the park
Road along the park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Stone
Stone
Another stone
Another stone
Lanterns
Lanterns
More lanterns
More lanterns
And another deer
And another deer
Deer
Deer
And even more lanterns
And even more lanterns
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Festival Lanterns
Festival Lanterns
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Nara Park
Lanterns
Lanterns
Kasuga Taisha Shrine Complex
Kasuga Taisha Shrine Complex
Kasuga Taisha Shrine Complex
Kasuga Taisha Shrine Complex
Around Kasuga Taisha Shrine Complex
Around Kasuga Taisha Shrine Complex
Around Kasuga Taisha Shrine Complex
Around Kasuga Taisha Shrine Complex
Around Kasuga Taisha Shrine Complex
Around Kasuga Taisha Shrine Complex
Around Kasuga Taisha Shrine Complex
Around Kasuga Taisha Shrine Complex
Umm...I dot lost somehwere here an…
Umm...I dot lost somehwere here a…
Got lost in the Park
Got lost in the Park
Found the way to Todaiji Temple Co…
Found the way to Todaiji Temple C…
Cherry Blossoms Paradise
Cherry Blossoms Paradise
Petals looked like snow, covering …
Petals looked like snow, covering…
Cherry Blossoms everywhere! It fel…
Cherry Blossoms everywhere! It fe…
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms and deers
Cherry Blossoms and deers
Petals like snow
Petals like snow
Petals everywhere...
Petals everywhere...
Petals everywhere
Petals everywhere
Petals everywhere and deers eating…
Petals everywhere and deers eatin…
Enchanted forest =)
Enchanted forest =)
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, Sang…
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine, San…
Road to Todaiji Temple
Road to Todaiji Temple
On the way to Todaiji Temple
On the way to Todaiji Temple
On the way to Todaiji Temple
On the way to Todaiji Temple
On the way to Todaiji Temple
On the way to Todaiji Temple
On the way to Todaiji Temple
On the way to Todaiji Temple
On the way to Todaiji Temple
On the way to Todaiji Temple
More Cherry Blossoms
More Cherry Blossoms
On the way to Todaiji Temple
On the way to Todaiji Temple
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple
Todaiji Temple
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Magnificent Todaiji Temple... 57m …
Magnificent Todaiji Temple... 57m…
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Octagonal Lantern height 4.62m
Octagonal Lantern height 4.62m
Lotus Petal 3.05m
Lotus Petal 3.05m
Butterfly on the vase (its huge! …
Butterfly on the vase (it's huge!…
Virocana Buddha (Height: 14.98m, F…
Virocana Buddha (Height: 14.98m, …
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall. Models
Great Buddha Hall. Models
Great Buddha Hall. Models
Great Buddha Hall. Models
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall. Im still amaze…
Great Buddha Hall. I'm still amaz…
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha Hall
Great Buddha
Great Buddha
Great Buddha
Great Buddha
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex
In front of Todaiji Temple Complex
In front of Todaiji Temple Complex
Todaiji Temple Complex Entrance
Todaiji Temple Complex Entrance
Around Todaiji Temple Complex
Around Todaiji Temple Complex
Hello little one =)
Hello little one =)
School kids feeding deers
School kids feeding deers
Leaving Todaiji Temple Complex
Leaving Todaiji Temple Complex
Along the road
Along the road
Gate
Gate
Gate
Gate
Humongous lantern
Humongous lantern
Structure
Structure
Deers
Deers
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
On the way back
On the way back
Going back through Kofukuji Temple…
Going back through Kofukuji Templ…
Going back through Kofukuji Temple…
Going back through Kofukuji Templ…
Going back through Kofukuji Temple…
Going back through Kofukuji Templ…
Going back through Kofukuji Temple…
Going back through Kofukuji Templ…
Going back through Kofukuji Temple…
Going back through Kofukuji Templ…
Going back through Kofukuji Temple…
Going back through Kofukuji Templ…
Going back through Kofukuji Temple…
Going back through Kofukuji Templ…
Going back through Kofukuji Temple…
Going back through Kofukuji Templ…
Going back through Kofukuji Temple…
Going back through Kofukuji Templ…
Going back through Kofukuji Temple…
Going back through Kofukuji Templ…
Going back through Kofukuji Temple…
Going back through Kofukuji Templ…
On the street of Nara
On the street of Nara
Nara
photo by: yasuyo