On my last day in Kyoto, I decided to do a quick trip (45 minutes by train) to Nara, the former capital of Japan from 710-784, and perhaps even more known for its temples than Kyoto.
Oh, and also for its 1200 wild deer.
Firstly, the wild deer are so tame. I managed to get within centimeters of one without it even flinching.
Oh, hello there
The deer are basically the main tourist attraction, never mind the temples. You have these massive, centries old temples towering over you, and 90% of the people there are feeding the deers/attempting deer selfies (not that I wasn't guilty of this either).
Temple? All I see are baby deer!
Oh, there it is
I was too nervous to feed the deer myself (I was having flashbacks to being bitten by a deer when I was 6 years old on safari), but you could tell that was all they were really looking out for. Case in point; the woman below searching her bag for her phone.
But the temples were pretty stunning, once you're able to look past all the deer.
Nup, looks like I was distracted by a deer again
Tōdai-ji is one of the biggest temples in Nara - rebuilt in 1709, it currently houses the worlds largest wooden statue of the Buddha. On the downside, due to the high price of entry (I assume), it is relatively deer-free.
A deer on the outside lamenting the high cost of admission
The aforementioned giant Buddha - it was more impressive in person, trust me
Walk through Nara Park
After visiting Tōdai-ji, I took a brief walk around the park, growing increasingly aware of my grumbling stomach.
I didn't catch the name of this temple, but it is obviously more deer-friendly than Todai-ji
Nara park seems so isolated and rural, that it's somewhat jarring to turn a corner and suddenly find yourself in the middle of a busy shopping arcade. But, it was time for lunch, so I set out to find a back-alley tuna restaurant I'd read up about online.
First, though, I got a little bit distracted by Daiso
The main draw of this restaurant is basically this: it sells nothing but tuna dishes, but it does them well. Plus, it also uses quality tuna - with all dishes you have a choice between maguro (bluefin tuna), chūtoro (medium fatty tuna), and ōtoro (very fatty tuna - expensive but oh so good).
I did a quick scan of the restaurant; the two most popular dishes (actually, the only two dishes being ordered) were the ōtoro sashimi and the ōtoro karage.
So, uh, since they both sounded so good...
... I got both.
- May January
- Mon 29 December 2014Temples, shrines, and Irish pubs (oops)
- Sun 28 December 2014Temple run and too much sake
- Fri 26 December 2014Hiroshima
- Wed 24 December 2014Things I've noticed since coming to regular Japan
- Mon 22 December 2014Last day in Okinawa
- Mon 22 December 2014A very Okinawan Hanukkah
- Sun 21 December 2014Onna Industrial Festival
- Sun 21 December 2014Last week at OIST
- Tue 16 December 2014A surprisingly good time to go to Russia
- Mon 15 December 2014Cape Hedo and Hiji Falls
- Mon 15 December 2014Vires Acquirit Eundo
- Mon 15 December 2014Chicken skin (and other assorted delights)
- Sun 14 December 2014Bread 1.0
- Sun 14 December 2014More things I've noticed since arriving in Okinawa
- Tue 09 December 2014The Heart Attack Murder Burger
- Tue 09 December 2014Spongebob and the birthday pig
- Mon 08 December 2014Kourijima
- Mon 08 December 2014Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
- Sun 07 December 2014Americana teppanyaki
- Sun 07 December 2014Searching for yeast on a Friday night
- Mon 01 December 2014Pineapple Park
- Sun 30 November 2014Castles, pancakes, Naha and more
- Fri 28 November 2014Attempted drive to Ishikawa
- Thu 27 November 2014Walk through Tancha
- Tue 25 November 2014Things I've discovered since arriving in Okinawa
- Tue 25 November 2014Settling in at OIST
- Mon 24 November 2014Accidental business class
- Sun 23 November 2014Delayed in Hong Kong
- Sun 16 November 2014A Siberian adventure