Japan 2014 – Day 10

Today was spent at Japan’s ancient capital of Nara, which is about an hour away from Osaka by direct train from JR Osaka Namba.

Nara is a lot quieter than Kyoto, and everything is within walking distance, so today was a lot more relaxed than yesterday.
I even managed to avoid being mauled by the gentle woodland herbivores that I was so stressed about before the visit… (See yesterday’s blog if that needs explained!)

The visit started with a leisurely stroll from JR Nara station to the Kofukuji Temple, an important Buddhist temple which includes a three story and a five story pagoda.
From this point onwards the rest of the day was also spent in the company of hundreds of wild sika deer… which are considered devine heavenly creatures in Nara…

After Kofukuji, it was a 15 minute walk to a traditional Japanese garden (Yoshikien Garden) which is actually three separate gardens (a water garden, moss garden and a flower garden).
While at the moss garden I stopped for a while to enjoy a traditional whisked green tea sitting on a mat in the sun on the balcony of a tea house.

After the gardens I had another brief walk to the famous Todai-ji Buddhist temple, until 1998 the largest wooden structure in the world and home to the worlds largest bronze statue of the Buddha Daibutso, which, even though seated, is 52ft (16m) high!

From Todai-ji it was another brief walk past a lovely pond (Kagami-ike pond) teaming with carp and turtles, and with a small island in the centre which had a shrine and torii gate.

My final location for today was the Shinto Kasuga Taisha Shrine, which was a brief walk away through some beautiful camphor woods.

I managed to take a lot of photos today which I’ll share on my Facebook page and here on my blog when I return home to Scotland later this week.

Tomorrow is my last full day in Japan and I’ll be spending it back at Arishiyama, where I’ll be visiting a monkey park, revisiting the bamboo groves and taking a boat trip down the Oi river in the hope of seeing some fishermen using the traditional method of using cormorants to catch their fish!

Hope you’re enjoying reading about the trip. I’m looking forward to sharing the photos from this trip when I get home! 🙂

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