I was really enjoying Kyoto, but I was told that Nara was a 'must-see'! So, off I go to see the 3rd largest Japanese Buddha and pet some deer. I was not disappointed!
The best part was watching the deer being fed small, round crackers by little, nervous children. The deer were the size of med-large dogs and were eye to eye with the 3 year olds (who are easily intimidated into giving up their crackers.)
The walk from the train station to the Buddha sends you down a street full of touristy shops- I stopped for a red bean mochi cookie. The town is chocked full of tourists, both foreign & local. Everybody is in a snapping photos.
New friends & a lovely pagoda.
The deer are everywhere.
This giant wood structure houses the Buddha image and is actually 1/3 the size of the original, which burnt down at least twice.
Step over the threshold and there he is! Buddha! There is a pleasant aroma of incense and wood. There is also a hoard of people being directed around the Buddha.
The building is supported by giant wooden posts. People were lined up to crawl through this one (does anybody know why?)
Buddha is impressive, but other than a row of souvenir shops, there isn't much else to see… So back out to the deer.
So cute & tiny, even this momma deer has spots.
Thanks Nara, you were lovely!