The Ancient Capital
Following one of my friend’s recommendation I decided to go on a day trip to Nara, during my stay in Osaka. At my hostel I met Candice, a lovely Australian, who was also exploring Japan on her own and was happy to join our forces to make the most of our time and to discover new places.
Before we got to the city Candice mentioned that she searched for more information about Nara and what she came across was a video of deer attacking some tourists. Scary! Well.. Except the ancient temples and amazing cultural legacy, Nara is well-known for its freely roaming deer. In Shinto religion deer are considered to be the messengers of gods. It did not take us long to see for ourselves that indeed they are free, wild and cheeky – snooping around for biscuits and other food. Although we did not see them attacking anyone sometimes they behaviour was getting out of control.
The temples are captivating and the Nara Park very relaxing so even if you spent time admiring the temples of Kyoto it is still worth dedicating some extra energy to venture out of Osaka or Kyoto to visit this ancient capital.
The Kasuga-taisha shrine with thousands of lanterns is magical and not to be missed. Todai-ji temple was my highlight and made a huge impression on me. Daibutsu, a 15m-high bronze Buddha displayed in that wooden hall is so grand that I feel like my photos are not doing this statue justice.
Last but not least, I have to bring up Yakushiji temple as it took me and Candice a while to reach it but we loved it. Although getting there just before the closing time was a bit of a gamble it almost felt like a private tour and we could enjoy the sun setting down behind beautiful temple buildings and the pagoda.