Hotel Sunroute Nara
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We think Nara is a good sister city for Canberra as it is spacious, well treed, surrounded by hills and some nice parks. It would seem that no one in Nara, e.g. the tourist offices know about this sister city relationship - they do now though! I even got a free postcard of Nara from the only English speaker in the main tourist office!
... to the hostel bar. To our surprise here was busy, loads of others travellers. We played beer pong, card games and danced the night away. We even had the karaoke out, they love that over here, I bet we sounded like strangled cats. It was time for bed and some of the other travellers were jealous of our little crib so we ended up having a big sleep over. There were people alseep already and we woke them up, whoopsies we will be in the bad books in the ...
Off to our our's hosts favourite Temple at 0600. It was worth the early start. No extra people there except for the people attending the service at 0630. There we had the opportunity to listen and hear the chanting (Buddhist). To get to the temple there were over 500 steps to climb. Along the way there were some beautiful gardens with both vegetables and flowers in bloom. It was quite a large area at the side of a mountain and was nice to walk around. Warm even at 0630. Home for ...
... worth the walk. As it usually does, the cold started to creep in so it was time to meander back to the train station and head off home. Back in Osaka, we had a walk around some of the streets as we hadn't done much exploring in the city yet. I had read about some streets that had lost of shops and restaurants along the canals and Hondori. Most of the cities look pretty identical in the centre of town, they certainly lack some originality. Dinner was yum. It is tricky finding places ...
... kept Japanese Gardens, including the Forest of Modern Art, the Wild bird pond and other beautiful features.
Of the other main sights Osaka Jo is a fine example of historic Japanese Castles, and the enormous and highly impressive, if a little expensive, Aquarium, and the port areas are more than worth a look. Although quite what a caged monkey has to do with an aquarium is a little hard to fathom.
So, onto the highly anticipated Kyoto. Probably ...