There’s a lot going on today. A lot of post election jitters, and emotions are running high. I’ve been avoiding Facebook for part of the day, and intend to keep doing so… but writing has always helped to ground me. I’m going to go ahead and write this blog about Jeremy and my trip to Nara, Japan… which happened on the second half of our first full day in Kyoto.
The first part of the day was a bust and I didn’t really enjoy it. There was a lot of talk about Shogun’s, architecture and religion. Bits and pieces of the tour were interesting… like the part where we learned why the Palace floors were so squeaky (so ninjas “assassins” had a harder time sneaking in to kill the Shogun and others who lived in the palace).
After our boring morning, we ate lunch and headed out with the coolest tour guide we could’ve had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with! He was a little elderly man who, to be honest, was the most interesting and knowledgable person I met while in Japan.
We climbed into the tour bus and took an hour and a half ride to Nara. “Nara is the capital of Japan’s Nara Prefecture, in south-central Honshu. The city has significant temples and artwork dating to the 8th century, when it was Japan’s capital. Deer roam in Nara Park, site of Tōdai-ji temple. Daibutsu, Tōdai-ji’s 15m-high bronze Buddha, is displayed in a large wooden hall. On the park’s east side is the Shinto shrine Kasuga Taisha, which dates to 768 A.D. and more than 3,000 lanterns.”
During our ride I learned so much about Japan and its customs from our tour guide, Yoshi. (Interesting things like, women who wear kimonos with short sleeves and pull their hair back are taken.) I’ll write another blog later highlighting everything I learned about Japan and the Japanese culture! 😉 I know you’re excited!!
Back to Nara, for now. When we arrived i had no idea there would be an entire prefecture filled with deer!! I was slightly grouchy from being sick and having a bad morning, but as soon as I saw the deer… my childlike wonder returned!
We could see them roaming around everywhere outside our bus windows. To my excitement, as soon as we stepped off the tour bus… deer were trying to play with us and instantly following us around. I felt like Snow White! ❤
Our tour guide showed us that if you said “こんにちは。”–Konnichiwa– the deer would bow their heads for food. They were more polite than some people! (Except for the one who stole paper out of Jeremy’s back pocket… haha)…
The Buddhist Temple here was beautiful and amazing! As stated earlier, the Tōdai-ji temple houses a 50 ft-high bronze Buddha! I think Jeremy really loved this part, because Buddha was enormous and it was amazing to look at. Our pictures don’t really do this statue any justice…
Our next stop was a great Shinto Shrine, the Kasuga Taisha! It houses soooo many lanterns. This was my favorite shrine/Temple we visited while in Japan. It was so beautiful and all of the lanterns reminded me of Spirited Away. ❤️
We had a long trip back to Kyoto. After telling the deer good bye, we were off! We had fire Ramen noodles waiting for us!! After taking FOREVER to find this place, getting lost and then arriving to find a huge line out the door waiting in the cold… I was feeling sick and grumpy. 😦 I stuck it out though and it was SOOO WORTH IT!! 😀
Like I’ve mentioned many times so far… Japan is half about food!! And for good reason. If you can get past the weird things you’re eating, it is Ahmaaaazing! Don’t ask questions and be adventurous (which I’m not,really). I made a pact with myself to try everything though, and I did. On the weirdness scale, thankfully, Ramen was pretty tame and I was happy about that this night. 😜 We had a long journey back to our hotel and we passed out hard after a loooong day of experiencing all the things! I think it was midnight by this point. 😱