A short day trip away from Kyoto lies Nara, a small town famous for its deer and its temples. When Nara was founded, the deer were considered sacred, so they were allowed to live there in peace with the monks. Nowadays, the deer live like fat kings, fed constantly by hoards of tourists. This was probably one of our favorite things to do in Japan so far. We fed the deer, tried out our meager natural horsemanship skills on them, and I guess we saw some temples too, but those were not nearly as cute as the deer.
“U buys my cookie?”
“Grass? Pffft! Give us teh good stuff! We wantz cookeez!”
Jeff communes with the deer:
The ones with antlers are a little scary, because they swing those things around a lot. But the antlers are also really fun to touch — they have the texture of a pussy willow!
OK, now boring temple stuff. This was a neat roof on one of the temple buildings:
This is the center chamber of the largest wooden building in the world. It’s now 2/3 the size it once was. I think it looks like a giant samurai helmet.
Inside the temple is a 16 meter tall Buddha, which is one of the largest bronze statues in the world. It was pretty big, but you can’t really tell from photos.
At the end of the day, we wandered back toward the station, and along the way we found a cicada. Cicadas are a kind of bug that make an incessant buzzing, squealing noise. It was about two inches long, and actually quite pretty, but I think it was dying.
We made the forty-minute train trip back to Kyoto still a bit giddy from all the deer we’d pet that day, and set our sights on the travels to come.