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Nara – from deer and rainy days

Today we want to explore Japan’s ancient capital Nara but sadly it’s raining. If you want to know how beautiful this day was after all then you should continue reading.

 

Wednesday, november 18th 2015

We’re well rested because of our lazy ass day yesterday so we get up pretty early. We want to go to Nara today and we want to pet deer and to visit temples and to take amazingly beautiful photos and… it’s raining cats and dogs. With a lack of motivation we’re walking to Kyoto Station. Oh wow, a rhyme! Afterwards we’re taking the JR Nara Line to, surprise surprise, NARA! After approximately 40 minutes we arrive there and we have no clue where to go. Before leaving the station we decide to grab some food in a huge konbini located in the ground floor. We can’t decide which Bento or Sushi we should buy, it’s quite hard to choose between so many delicious looking variations of Japanese food. After buying our lunch for today we are leaving the station but we’re completely lost. There are so many bus stops around and we have no clue which bus to take. Well, we don’t really know where we actually want to go either so… Somebody failed at planning this day. And yep, I’m talking about myself ^^ But I can remember that the Todai-ji should be near, so we’re looking for a bus that drives in that direction. There is deer decoration everywhere around the station, it’s just way too cute! After a short period of waiting we can get on the bus. We have to pay after getting on the vehicle and we hope that this is the right one for Todai-ji.

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Fortunately there are masses of people getting off at the same station, so we assume that this one must be the one for Todai-ji and we’re getting off the bus too. We’re walking straight to a woody park in order to pet some deer, the temple can wait. Angie has tears in her eyes when she spots the first free animal. She has never touched a deer in her life before and in Nara these animals are running around on the streets, waiting to be fed by humans. We try to recreate our cool deer-selfie from march but sadly the deer of Nara don’t belong to the modern selfie generation – party poopers, ugh. It’s starting to rain even more the farther we get, so we decide to walk back, the deer are silly anyway. After leaving the park there’s a group of Japanese children waving at us. They ask where we come from, too cute. We’re taking some more or less stunning autumn photos and then we want to have lunch. But sadly there’s no restaurant around. So we decide to stop at a sheltered bench, although it’s getting colder every minute.

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We didn’t regret this decision because the view is breathtaking. We’re the only ones sitting here and there’s a small pond in front of us. The pond is surrounded by trees wrapped in autumn colors and the rain drops are falling down on the uncreased surface of the water. I could sit here forever and just watch the nature doing what it’s supposed to do. After having lunch we try to make another deer selfie because some Chinese tourists have fed the deer so they came to the place we’re staying at. It works out better than some hours ago but we’re still not satisfied with the results. But some Asian tourists want to have a photo of us and them together, aaaaalright. Angie is kind of pissed off and she lights up a cigarette. I’m pretty sure that we’re not allowed to smoke here, but since another tourist is smoking like his fifth cigarette some meters away I decide to join in. Sadly we don’t see the “no smoking” sign which is installed at the bench.

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We want to leave but then we spot a Japanese man at the other side of our bench. He smiles at us while smoking so we decide to keep his company. He’s a travel guide in Nara and wants to know if we need any tips for Nara and it’s sights. I ask him how to get to Todai-ji and he explains the way to us while showing us several maps. Afterwards we’re talking about our upcoming itinerary and he asks why we decided to come to Japan. Like all the other Japanese we met before he thanks us for loving his country so much. He’s quite impressed that it’s my fifth time to visit Japan and we’re talking about all the things I’ve seen here before. After about 20 minutes we leave because this man deserves to have a relaxing lunch break before guiding another tourist group around :)

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So now we know how to reach Todai-ji and that’s where we’re going. We’re walking past masses of school children who take photos with the deer and after a long walk through the rain we can finally make it to Todai-ji. Or at least to it’s box office. We pay the ¥500,– and then we’re entering the temple area. When first spotting the temple we’re speechless. I have never seen such an impressive building in my life before. This temple is giant! A pity you can’t see how big it is when looking at photos. We enter the temple and that’s when we stop to talk to each other. There are three giant Buddha statues looking down on us and we feel so small. The atmosphere is touching, we are more impressed than ever and then we feel the need to light up a candle just like all the Japanese in here. After leaving this spiritually touching building we are again walking through the rain.

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It’s still too cold and wet for sightseeing so we decide to go back to Kyoto. Fortunately we catch the right bus and three little girls stand up so we can sit down, how polite! Asian children are just way too cute! But do we really look that old? xD When arriving at the station we have to wait for another 30 minutes but time flies and we’re soon getting on our train. Today I want to have fries, I don’t know why, but my stomach demands them – but I wouldn’t dare to say a word. Angie has threatened us NOT TO step into any McDonald’s or similar because when we’re in Japan we definitely HAVE to eat JAPANESE FOOD because you can have fast food anywhere in the world. To my surprise it’s her who answers with “OMG yesssss” when Malie suggests to have some french fries. So we’re having a whole bunch of unhealthy food before we’re going back to the hostel. We are packing our bags already because tomorrow we’ll leave for Tokyo, FINALLY! Kyoto was beautiful as always but my heart belongs to Tokyo, without a doubt!

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