Today our destination is Nara, the first permanent capital of Japan which was founded in 710. For this reason it is the ancient city after Kyoto where there are the oldest and largest buddhist temples and shinto shrines over here in Japan and the richest collection of traditional sites in Japan.
Since Buddhist monasteries grew and became more powerful during the years, they were perceived as a threat to the government and so the capital was soon moved from Nara to Kyoto in those days .
In 1998 the remains of the palace, a primeval forest and the temple buildings dating back to the period 1300 years ago when the city flourished as the capital of Japan were accepted as Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara as UNESCO World Heritage Property. We are walking from the train station to the Nara Park. Weather is beautiful , it is a warm and sunny autumn day in November.
The wild deers which are the symbol of the city of Nara are welcoming us in the park. They are just peacefully strolling around and used to humans and looking for some food. People treat them very respectfully and we are also petting them.
Considered in Shinto the deers are messengers of the gods and therefore also designated as a natural treasure.
They are so cute and accompanying us during this walk through the park till we reach out to the the corner on the left side where you are nearly in front of the huge Todai-ji Temple.
Yes – this is Ancient Japan – what a great building and beautiful garden in autumn leaf colors -it is a scenery where you can easily dream of the ancient tender Japanese lifestyle and culture.
The dark brown wooden entrance is so gigantic – really huge.
Todai-ji Temple was built during the middle of the 8th century in compliance with an imperial decree. Eight of the buildings are National Treasures, including the Kondo, a main hall also called Daibutsu-den Hall, (Great Buddha Hall) and Nandai-mon Gate (Great South Gate). Other 18 buildings are also Important Cultural Properties.
We are strolling in and visiting the Great Buddha Hall which is very impressive.
There are so many things to look around in the inner part of the temple and also in the garden…
After finishing our visit over there we walk the way back to the train station through the hall with a lot of small restaurants and shops.
Our guide shows us the way to a very little Sushi Shop that is a bit hidden in the hall at the right side.
Yes -it is Sushi time. We want to relax and let the nice impressions and feelings of the last hours of Nara sink in our minds and souls.
We have great fun altogether, enjoying some small Sushi snacks and some green tea, rest a little bit till we walk then to the train station and go back to Osaka for tonight.