I really was very fawn’d of Nara. Possibly because I was surrounded by deer. (If you didn’t get the pun, you need to re-evaluate your sense of humour)
Getting to Nara from Osaka was no trouble at all. Just switch trains from Namba station, and take the Kintetsu railway down to Kintetsu-Nara station. The journey (in total) from my Airbnb apartment to Nara station was approximately 40-45 minutes.
I met Kona and Yuki there, and they were all ready to show me around. Yuki mainly, because he lives in Nara. It’s a pretty quaint place as you exit the station. According to the both of them, there’s nothing but deer around so it’s usually quite silent at night. Pretty creepy if you think about it.
We weren’t even at the deer park and we saw two deer just lazing around.
Yuki took us to the Nara National Museum (520 yen) right at the top of this endless flight of steps. I wasn’t allowed to take any photographs or video footage inside though. Basically, it showed a couple of sculptures related to Japanese buddhist art, as well as other artefacts common in Buddhism (inclusive of a huge Buddha statue smack in the center of the exhibition hall).
After a short, yet informative walk throughout the two exhibition halls, we walked out to see more deer.
Don't judge the wolf hat!
It was only 300 yen! Plus it kept my ears warm, which is equally important….
We walked quite a fair bit through all the quaint little houses to look for a lunch spot. We had to be put on a waiting list, so we decided to wander around the area for a little bit.
It’s winter and you’re wearing tights and barefoot running while pulling a freaking trishaw thing?!?! His glutes are darn fit though.
They sold Ninja Beer! And this entire photo is A L L Alcohol.
We walked back to the lunch place just in time. It was traditional tatami dining, inclusive of a stove in the middle to warm away all the chilly winter vibes.
Spinach and cheese curry with chicken.
Really, really good for the weather. The two of them ordered a set meal, complete with side dishes. The prices for both were also pretty reasonable for the portion size; under 1300 yen if I remember right.
The tiniest milk jug.
Yuki ordered coffee, and it came with the tiniest milk jug in the entire world. After pouring all the milk, he stuck his thumb in it, and we all came to a conclusion that that’s how they wash the jug. The more you know.
We finally made it out with a full stomach, and walked to the deer park. It started pouring. Kona and I shared an umbrella, and all of us tried to enjoy the view, but it.was.freezing.
You can get deer biscuits for about 150 yen at little stalls around the area. Fair warning though, the deer are really smart. Smart enough not to eat the stall owners’ food, but smart enough to wait around for us stupid tourists’ to buy the food, and then chase us for it.
Proof in the pictures.
The younger deer and the females’ are gentler when you feed them. Of course the babies are the cutest. The males, um, they are just demanding. Tsk, guys. (I jest)
We walked further into the deer park, toward the Todaiji temple. I didn’t know whether it was good luck that it rained because we didn’t smell the deer poo at all, or bad luck because we stepped in poo juice. Oh well.
We found this hidden alcove with red leaves everywhere, and deer grazing quietly in the shadows.
I kinda regret not getting a souvenir to remind me of Nara. I did see a deer hat similarly to my wolf/husky hat though. It was 1100 yen?! No, i’m not crazy. I didn’t get it obviously. I did, however meet a girl from San Francisco and we chatted about how her trip was going and all that.
Plus, I took my fortune again, and for the second time had the worst luck. It said, “traveling is not encouraged”. Um, hi, i’m in Japan.
Yuki had to leave, so Kona and I decided to head to the station to settle my JR Pass. Found out I hadn’t activated my debit card (even though I spent a bomb in Tokyo using it). Took a couple of a trips back and forth, and we settled for dessert before I had to say goodbye to her and make my way back home to Osaka. Who knows? I might head out to Kobe next!