Today we headed south to visit Nara.
The main attraction here is the massive hall with the massive buddha statue, but only after you've waded through thousands of hungry deer (see: "messengers" of the gods) who are trying to get all that you're worth.
It was our first sunny day after several of heavy rain, so it was all the more special when the clouds did part and the sun burst through. I had been looking forward to Nara, as I had very fond memories of last time, but it seems that most of the Autumn colour had come and gone, leaving nothing but a wasteland of sticks, dirt, and bloodthirsty, hornless deer.
I bought two packs of "Deer Crackers" the food that the parks make you buy, so you can feed their "sacred" messengers for them - 150yen a packet, deer crackers. Knowing that anyone holding such crackers would be irresistable to these sacred messengers, I gave mum a packet of the crackers and told her to feed the ones she found most deserving, knowing full well it wouldn't go that way.
The following video demonstrates so perfectly how this went down:
Cheers for being a good sport, mum!
The rest of the day wasn't great photographically, as it was ore of a tourist -kind of day.
TOday's main destination was Todai-ji Temple, the largest wooden structure in the world, until 1998 by which time it was overtaken by something else. It was made in the year 700, so congrats to those people back then for buiding a structure so impressive!
Towards the back of the temple, there is a hole in a pillar, said to bring "good health" to those that can crawl through without getting stuck. Though I think if you can get through in the first place, and don't have the girth of buddha or sumo themselves, then you've already set yourself on the path for good health.
I convinced mum to partake in the fun and here's a candid shot of her getting through. Mind you I found this one the best.
In the spirit of last night, here's more images of how the day went!
To finish up, I went onto the roof of Kyoto Station to see what was up there and watch some of the sunset, it was really beauitful and I got a chance to play with a bit of urban landscapes...