Still a bit shocked after Mount Fuji climbing, but here I am again wiiiiiiithhhh… NARA!
Nara isn’t so far from Kyoto and was Japan’s capitol from 710 to 784 under the name Heijokyo.
As traditional as Kyoto, Nara has lots of famous sightseeing spot (most of them are World Heritage sites) and is well known for its huge amount of wild deers.
The first temple I visited was Kofukuji, but the main building couldn’t be seen because of renovation work; its five-stored pagoda is one of the symbol of Nara city.
Here you can enter into the Park of Nara and feed the deers with senbei: if you hold it upon your head, out of the reach for the animals, the deers will bow to you!
Just… be aware they’re wild and sometimes can attack people, so don’t bully them!
Right in the middle of the park you’ll find the National Museum, but I went straight to Kasuga Taisha Shrine, wanted by the aristocratic family Fujiwara which, according to legend, invited a god to come inside the temple. The god really came from Kashima Shrine (Ibaraki prefecture) riding a deer and that’s why this animal is considered sacred.
Kasuga Taisha shrine is well known thanks to its thousand stone lanterns.
But the most famous temple in Nara is Todaiji’s, with the famous Great Buddha.
I actually have no words to describe my feelings once I got there: it’s simply impressive!
You may find it quite crowed towards the exit because of this wooden column: it’s said to be as big as Buddha’s nostril and if you manage to pass it through, you’ll be granted with a blessed reincarnation.
Still, it’s so narrow only a child could do it without struggling… Err, well, I did, but I do look like a child, so that doesn’t count.
Poor Buddha, hoping he’ll never catch a cold!
As you may think, Nara isn’t that big and you’ll manage to see everything in one day; still, I suggest to just walk around and enjoy the surrounding. Don’t miss the Ukimido Pavillon, not so far from the park!
About the food, I was lucky enough to see the making of yomogi mochi (at first I thought it was matcha-something. The guy looked at me with a bit of sorrow in his eyes… FORGIVE ME!)