Nara / 奈良

December 27, 2010

Much more pedestrian-friendly than Kyoto, Nara's sites are scattered around Nara Park. These include the Three- and Five-Story Pagodas at Kofukuji, Todaiji Temple and Daibustuden, Nigatsu-do and Sangatsu-do Halls, Wakakusayama Hill, and the Kasuga Taisha Shrine with its 2,000 stone lanterns that are illuminated only once a year. It took me around four hours to wander leisurely around, and I plan on hitting at least two of the muesums tomorrow morning (Nara National Museum and the Nara Craft Center). Oh, and the loads of cute deer everywhere.

On my second morning, after liquid reinforcement from Tully's and an hour spent browsing through Japanese sweets cookbooks (yup, I purchased two), I visited three other temples located on the outskirts of Nara: Toshodaiji, Yakushiji, and Horyuji. Yakushiji and Horyuji were the most impressive, with their splendid pagodas, and in the case of Horyuji, the masterpieces of early Buddhist art from Japan. I didn't head out for Osaka until around 5 pm the second day.























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