Day 22 – Nara and home

So during our last day in Japan, we will explore the city of Nara, since waking up and leaving the hostel, every step I had taken was painful, but we pressed on to check out the deer and the largest wooden structure and bronze buddha. We got to Nara in the morning and had a few hours to explore around.

Nara station
Colourful glass panes

We took a bus up to the temple area which is listed as a World Heritage site. From around here you can already see deer lurking around, I decided to buy some crackers to feed them, it was a terrible idea. Once they saw I had food, a couple of them converged, butting me and even nibbling my leg! I was simply like WTF these deers are crap and disposed of the crackers as quickly as possible. Not impressed.

World Heritage listed

Once I had escaped the deer, we proceeded onwards, the entrance itself was this grand wooden structure. Despite looking rather aged, it was magnificent heaps of detail and just gives the impression that there is something big behind it.

Grand wooden entrance

One can only wonder what the original would have looked like before it was weathered down, must have been just spectacular with all the detail that’s there.

Spectacular detail

Inside the entrance lies two guardians, unfortunately they’re netted off so it’s hard to see their size and the detail that’s gone into it. A bit hard to see their facial expressions, but they looked FIERCE.

Very large guardians

Going in a little further, the Daibutsuden is surrounded by a wall and there lies another entrance, it was closed off however and we had to enter from the side.

Smaller entrance before the wooden hall

And also because ‘everyone else was doing it’ I lit up a stick of incense and fanned the smoke onto myself, not sure why everyone does it, but it seemed appropriate.

Burning incense

From the entrance, the building itself looks large, but you don’t realise how big it actually is.

Largest wooden building, the Daibutsuden

It’s not until you’re standing right under it that you realised that it’s ‘friggin’ huge’! and the detail and architecture is simply exquisite. Such fine detail and it must have been a real piece of work to get it built.

Monstrous size looking up

So this extraordinary building houses the largest bronze Buddha in the world, while I was kind of expecting it to be rather shiny and pretty, but instead it looked pretty worn out. It however was quite massive and looked extremely heavy.

Largest bronze buddha

Inside were some models and relics of various things from the original building, it’s interesting to note that the structure we were in isn’t the original. What’s even scarier is that the original was 33% bigger! and had the two pagoda’s standing at the front beside it.

Original layout and design

One of the highlights of this place was a certain pillar in the building, at the base of it however is a small hole. It’s said that if you are able to crawl through it, you will be enlightened in the next life! It was rather small and during my attempt, I felt a little stuck, but after wriggling, I finally made it all the way through, to the surprise of the onlookers.

Enlightenment in the next life!

Gavin managed the same feat, but he’s a lot smaller.

Gavin too!

Walking around the site, we bump into this sign telling us what the deers here can/will do. Wasn’t much good as I had already been molested by the hungry deer.

Yep, already aware of what they do

Up the hill from the Daibutsuden lay another temple, it was pretty large, but no where as impressive as the Daibutsuden, we went up to have a look around anyway and it had provided a pretty decent vantage point.

Another temple nearby
View from above

Now I noticed I didn’t post up any pictures of the deer, so here they are, nowhere as nice as the ones on Miyajima Island. I noticed a lot of them had patches in their fur, looked like they’re from bites or just them licking their own fur.

These deer are nasty

The walk back was rather painful with my tired legs so I just tried to get back as quick as possible so I could get a little rest before the flight home.

Strange building design

Despite my desires to go home quickly, I just had to stop by this Pagoda and check ti out, it’s one of the original ones that used to be outside the Daibutsuden, you can see it from the model previously.

One of the original pagodas near the Daibutsuden

Walking through the arcades and alleys, I noticed something strange, a Vietnamese restaurant! This is the first time I had seen Viet food in Japan, didn’t go in to try any as you’d obviously prefer to eat Jap food while in Japan.

Finally, some pho!

Quick snaps of the surroundings before I decided to be a lazy shit and take a bus back to Nara train station.

Random fountain

As I got back, I packed my bags sat down for a bit before going out to find my last meal in Japan. It was also a good time to spend the rest of my money, so I decided to head to a restaurant nearby, Udon with Tempura would be my last meal and it was pretty good. Although looking back, I think I would have  preferred some Okonomiyaki as that is just simply amazing.

Last meal in Japan

While back at the hostel, we met some fellow Australians who were also on their last day in Japan, they also coincidentally had the same flight as us to the Gold Goast. The group of 8 were from Queensland and we all headed out to the Airport together, the timing was pretty bad as it was peak hour and the trains were packed! It was especially difficult with our bulky luggage and it was hard to dismount our backpacks as it was just too tightly packed.

Packed train to the airport

Finally getting to the airport I spent the last of my Japanese currency buying some more kit kats and sweets, after that it was time to board and have a much needed rest. We were also lucky enough to have the front row seats meaning extra leg room which was a definite bonus to help my aching legs. Well, these 21 posts sum up my trip to Japan, it’s seriously an amazing country and somewhere you definitely have to visit and visiting just once isn’t enough. I’m definitely going to have to plan another trip back as soon as possible.

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