Friday, June 5, 2009


Outside of Kyoto is the ancient capital of Nara.  First on the itinerary was the Buddhist Todaiji Temple.  Inside the temple rests Daibutsu (Great Buddha), created in the mid 700s.  This is Japan's oldest statue of Buddha.  Another attraction in Nara Park are the tame deer.  For 150 yen you can purchase little wafers that the deer just love to eat!  That was my favorite part and I had been looking forward to feeding the deer since planning this trip.  After visiting with the little guys, we headed over to the Kasuga Shrine.  On the grounds of this Shinto Shrine you can find over 3000 stone and bronze lanterns.  The lanterns are lit for special holidays and ceremonies.  Also on the grounds is a camphor tree that is supposedly over 600 years old.  Pretty cool over all.  And a very nice start to our Kyoto portion of the trip.

The Todaiji Temple, it's quite large and has a very nice garden in the front.

This Buddha is huge!  He's over 50 ft. tall!  Originally he would have been gilt in gold.

Another one...close up.

So they can see you holding the little packet of wafers and soon you will have a following.

While walking through the actual park and off the main thoroughfare, we found some little guys.  Look at those eyes! So sweet!  And they still have curly hair on their heads.  *sigh* Made the whole trip worth it!

Stone lanterns line all the paths to the Shinto Shrine.

Here is the Camphor Tree with a rope and lightening symbols.  The rope signified its association with the lightning deity.  

Inside the courtyard of the shrine are all the bronze lanterns.

Mmm..tasty dinner.  Yakitori Donburi, Yakitori chicken with seaweed pieces and green onions on top of rice.  Yum!

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