Wednesday, November 23, 2011


After an exciting weekend of festivals I headed off on a short day trip to Nara. Nara is an another ancient capital of Japan and has remained a very important religious city. It's here that the Daibutsuden (Big Buddha) is located. Actually there are 8 sites (temples, ruins etc.) in Nara that have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I made it to 5 (for the record... Todai-ji, Kofuku-ji, Kasugataishi, Yakushi-ji and Kasugayama Primeval Forest).

Painting in the park - Nara by girl from finito
This is a small park located just below Kōfuku-ji Temple - it has a great view of the five story Pagoda and was really popular with the artists. It was nice to take a break and inspiring to see people painting.

Nara by girl from finito
Nara, a photo by girl from finito on Flickr.
Kōfuku-ji Temple is also where I had my first school trip photo.. These girls rushed over and in pretty good english asked to take a photo with me - I whipped out my camera and asked for the same..Awesome!
I think my favorite part of Nara was the Kasugayama primeval forest. A sight to behold pure forest lined with thousands of stone lanterns.

The path through the forest led to the Kasuga Taisha Temple. An lovely temple full of bronze lanterns.

Nara by girl from finito
Nara, a photo by girl from finito on Flickr.
A note about the deer. It's believed that the deer were messengers of the god that resides in the Kasuga Grand Shrine and as such are protected creatures. Although not evident by the pictures I posted, they are everywhere in Nara - generally hounding the tourists for food or deer biscuits (on sale in the picture for 150 Yen). As one guide book noted the God must have stopped using the deer or has become really fond of biscuits.

Finally I found out in Nara that i actually don't mind red-bean paste (which was a shock). I tried freshly made mochi (glutinous rice desert) filled with red bean and it's one of the most delicious things.

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