About an hours train journey out of Kyoto is Nara.  Nara has a couple of very impressive temples and a park, and it would be nice to see some greenery.  The weather was fantastic, warm enough to walk around in a tee shirt.

Out of Nara station it is about a 10 minute walk to the start of the par, up a hill past lots of souvenir shops and restaurants, it’s coming into the autumn season here so all the lamp posts had maple branches in orange hues hanging from them, all very nice until you realise that they are plastic.

At the entrance to the park is the Kofuku-ji temple, sadly this was under scaffolding for repair, but the 5 story pagoda wasn’t.  A very kind guide laid on by the park came and told us a few details about the temple and Pagoda in excellent, he was a good will volunteer and once he’d finished he went off to find more people to help, without asking for a fee or a tip (you do not tip in Japan anywhere!).

5 Story pagoda
Sadly you couldnt go in it


We carried on up and into the park, which was beautiful, the Autumn colours were just starting to show, and by the end of November this will be ablaze with colour.  There are a large amount of deer in the park, and they will hastle you relentlessly for food, you can buy deer biscuits (for the deer, not made from them), but if you do be warned they can find them and they will eat them, even if they are in your pocket or bag!

The park was beautiful
Some colour starting to show
Deer know where to hang for maximum cuteness
And they know that vending machines are a good stalking point

The main reason to come to Nara for us though was the Todai-ji Temple.  A world heritage site the Great Budha Hall is allegedly the largest wooden structure in the worrld.  The main hall has been re-built over the centuries due to fire and earthquakes, but it houses the Great Budha Vairocana, the worlds largest bronze Budha, originally cast in 752AD, but it’s lost it’s head a few times, and the current head dates from 1692.

Great Budha Hall
Probably should have given this shot some contest as it is massive
Bell house
Even the entry gate to the complex was massive too (21m)

On the way back to the station there was a food festival, so we managed to snag some interesting street food before the journey back to Kyoto.

overall a very relaxing day, it was nice to see some green and get some sun.



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