Instead of having a lecture in the morning and a field trip in the afternoon the class met at Kyoto station for 9am to go on a day trip to Nara. We take a rapid train to Nara which took about 1 hour, I got some course reading done in this time.
We started the trip off with a visit to Nara Park and the Todai-ji temple. Nara park is inhabited by ‘wild’ deer which are not so wild and casually stroll around as if you were at a petting zoo. There are rice crackers available for purchase to feed the deer with but after watching a few others try this I was inclined to not be charged by dozens of deer.
The park was very beautiful, and it was kind of neat to have the deer freely roaming around.
Our next stop was Todaiji (Great Eastern Temple). Todaiji ranks as the largest wooden structure in the entire world even though its current reconstruction is only 2/3 its original size. The pictures I took do not do it justice, walking up to the gate makes one feel tiny in comparison to its stature.
Inside the main hall is one of Japan’s largest bronze statutes of Buddha, literally sitting at 15m in height.
We were given a quick lunch break in which time we were also required to get back to the train station to head to our next stop. Of course I spent this time buying gifts and souvenirs, I ate my lunch while walking to the train station…which is not super acceptable in Japan, we heard a few remarks about “those foreigners” lol .
Next we took a short train ride over to the Horyuji temple. We had to walk quite the distance to get to the actual temple, it was supposed to rain so most of us were not prepared for the bright and sunny day. This made the walk over tiring and I got really sun burnt.
Sorry for the awkward photo!
Horyuji takes the title of the oldest wooden structures in the world, kind of neat, and lucky that it has not succumb to fire. It also houses a great deal of national treasures and was the first site in Japan to be selected by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage. I don’t have any good photos of this location as apparently we were not supposed to take photos, but every one else was… Here is one inside the complex of a path leading to a main area.
I slept on the train ride back to Kyoto then came back to the apartment. Some of the group headed out to who-knows-where but I was just to exhausted to do more shopping. I was going to cook dinner but instead I ended up eating left over inari, which Natasha and Remy you have to try! I think I am going to have a quiet night, prepare for class tomorrow and maybe watch a movie I have on my laptop.