Oh deer its Nara!

Trip Start Mar 15, 2008
Trip End Oct 02, 2009

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Leah says: We arrived back in Osaka after trying to get accommodation in Kyoto...no luck, Nara...no luck, in the end the only place left was Osaka and thank goodness we had a JR rail pass so we could get out for day trips without breaking our budget. So our first day back in Osaka we got up and hung around Osaka for the morning as by luck one of my oldest and best mates from Australia was in Osaka for work for the day. So Ben and I had a great time catching up with her for a few hours and we got to see a bit more of Osaka and we had Pocky!

We said goodbye to Hailey around lunchtime and then hopped on the train to Nara where we headed straight for the Todaiji temple and bought some deer biscuits on the way ( I will explain later). On the way we saw a crowd gathered around the front of a store when we got there it was 2 guys banging a large amount of green dough in a big barrel with mallets. They made it into quite an art form and very entertaining as they had to time the banging and yelling together. They then swapped and one guy used his hands to hit it and then the other guy would hit it with the mallet they got faster and faster all the while yelling in time. They then quickly fed the dough into a machine and out popped these green balls filled with red bean paste and coated in flour. They sold faster than hotcakes and were pretty yummy!

We continued up the hill and had a look at the 5 story pagoda, walked through the park and past all the souvenir stores and through the gates to Todaiji temple.

This temple is the largest wooden structure in the world and has been reconstructed at 2/3 of the original size. It also houses the largest Buddha statue in Japan and is truly amazing to actually see and is very beautiful.

We spent a bit of time looking inside the temple before wandering back and feeding the free roaming deer that live in the parks throughout Nara. They have vendors set up everywhere selling deer biscuits in packs of ten for about $1.60. It's a great tourist attraction and we had fun feeding the deer. One of the problems with this is that the Deer get used to being fed by humans and since there are so many deer floating around they can get quite pushy looking for food and will go to lengths such as nuzzling into pockets and bags and scaring small children to get to food.

On our way back to the train station we stopped for dinner at a nice restaurant and got an ice cream out of a vending machine then made the trek back to our hotel in Osaka.
Another fun day with our next stop being a day trip to Kyoto!
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