Incredibly psyched to write about Japan because WE JUST BOOKED OUR TICKETS TO JAPAN!
This post is about Nara aka land of the free roaming deer and this entry will combine picture from two trips, each a year apart. See if you can spot how different I (and the deer lol) look?
Getting to the Nara deer park is fairly straightforward by train and bus. I will suggest you make your way there from Osaka - use the JR Yamatoji Line (50 min) if you are holding on to the JR Pass and the Kintetsu Nara Line if you are not. I prefer the latter as the Kintetsu Nara Station is more centrally located (but this line isn't covered by the JR Pass). For the Kintetsu Nara Line, it takes just 34 minutes for the Rapid Express trains and 39 minutes for the Limited Express trains to reach Nara from Osaka. Price difference between the two trains is almost double at 560¥ vs 1070¥ so unless you're REALLY in a dire rush to see some deer, I think you can spare the 5 minutes.
Upon reaching Nara, you can either walk to Nara Park (it says 20 minutes according to Google but feels like 20,000 years) or take the local bus.
For my first visit with Zach and Nui, we took a slow stroll and stopped along the way at several shrines and temples (Shinto is practiced at a shrine and Buddhism is practiced at a temple). Established more than some 1300 years ago as the country's first permanent capital, the city has numerous shrines and temples that date back to the 8th century. In fact, eight are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
If you like Kyoto's rich colours, tradition, history and culture, then I think you might enjoy Nara more since it offers many of such scenic and historical sites, sans the hoards of tourists. (Though these days, there are wayyyy too many tourists everywhere. Sigh.) Try Kawagoe perhaps? Before it gets too crowded!
Nara Deer Park
You will know you have arrived cause there will be some 1,500 deer waiting to greet you.
To be honest, they are super friendly BUT they are wild deer after all and as much as they make pretty good photo op, they are known to bite as they get increasingly frustrated with tourists who make them wait to munch on crackers while trying to frame the perfect photo.
Please also be gentle and kind to them... according to this article, some tourists even try to climb on their backs wth?!
Some random act chio picture lol...
OH OH OH. This tea is DAMN GOOD.
With the then 4 (???) year-old nephew. Looking at how bundled up he is (in comparison), I think I must have skipped the coat then to hem it for the camera. How much things have changed since haha.
Somehow animals just love Garry a lot more than they do with me. Even my dog, even though I am the one who cooks for him twice a day, brushes his fur, bathes him etc.
The Tōdai-ji (東大寺 or Eastern Great Temple) if I am not wrong. This Buddhist temple complex was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples and is home to the famous Daibutsu (大仏) which is the second largest Buddha statue in Japan and one of the largest in the world.
It was raining when we were there the year before, and if you ask me - I love it.
There's this whole sense of calmness, peace and even romance in the air and somehow, cause it's Japan, even the rain feels cleaner lol?
Family of deer crossing the road. That little one in front <3
And of course this post will have to have food. It wouldn't be my travelogue otherwise.
This was at some random chain restaurant near the JR Nara Station which I can't remember for the death of me now but it was goooodddd. Actually, I don't remember ever having a bad meal in Japan? Also, there is a hugggeeee Aeon supermarket next to the station where I usually get my groceries from - both times I lugged back 10kg of Niigata rice lol.
And cartons of this chocolate-covered potato chips. It's not as good as Royce's tbh but for the price (I think it's like a dollar each?), I'm not complaining.
And because it was almost Halloween when we visited,
I had the best pumpkin pie of my life.
I loveeee kabocha and so does Nate. I get the frozen ones from Mediya and add it to almost all his food hahhaa. Chicken pumpkin nuggets are his fav.
One last look with a deer that wasn't very impressed with me.
And this picture is actually damn fake cause tbh,
I was pretty damn scared lol.
And then it's back to Osaka! Random shot of some bird taken by Zach lol.
More of my Japan travels here.