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Monday, November 25, 2019

Other Bits - My 2019 Japan Trip - Pt 1 (Nara)


Nara (East of Osaka) was Japan's capital between 710-794AD and is now a must visit location for tourists because it is best known for its free-roaming deer population throughout the city. It's a great place for photos.
Have a look:
And here we have a rare opportunity to catch 2 guys fighting over a girl! Nature at its purest and most primal.
Just like in Melaka, Nara is a tourist hot-spot. And one of the iconic things to look out for are the 2-Wheeled Carriages that are drawn by really fit and buff guys (Yes ladies, you read that right). Totally traditional and Insta-Worthy.
Right smack in the middle of the park, there is a museum that you can enter. It's a good place to rest your feet or to grab a drink.

And of course, there has to be a place to grab some food and merchandise - the gift shop.

Needless to say (but I'm saying it anyway), Japan is not Japan if picturesque temples and shrines are not ubiquitous with the landscape. Hence, pictures of temples and shrines!
A gentle walk up the hill and we're at the Kasuga Taisha Shrine. What makes this Shrine unique are the thousands of Stone Lanterns that line the paths to it. According to the historians, there are at least 3000 of these Stone Lanterns in the vicinity of the Shrine but I stopped counting at around 200+...
 



And at the entrance of this shrine, there are two 20-foot stone statues at either side of the gates - watching over the shrine I suppose.
 
On our way back out to the train station in town, we explored a few of the nearby lanes and discovered a very nice lake (ok, this is definitely an understatement). The pictures speak for themselves. This was in the late afternoon just before sunset (approx. 5pm).
You know you're at the right train station when you arrive as it is themed accordingly (including the manholes).