Day 8: Nara

Post-mortem note: I know this entry has been long overdue but lately I have been very busy that I really haven’t found much time to continue with these stories of my vacation in Japan. Fortunately I still have all my notes I made and a good clear memory of my journey in Nara. There are only 2 more entries to this series.

17th October 2007

Well after having spent most of my time in Kyoto, it was now time to head of to Nara after hearing and reading so much about this sacred city of deers.

As usual I got up real early, 3am and cleaned out my gear as well as made today’s preparations. The train to Nara wouldn’t be due at least until 4am at least. So it gave me plenty of time.

I took the express train.


The train was practically empty. Why wouldn’t it be? I am WAAAAAY early. But then that is just my “kiasu-ness”.


The train took roughly an hour. By the time I reached Nara it was 5:40am.


I simply loved the cold weather there! The peace calm tranquility was also a great bonus!


Keeping with tradition, I took a picture of the map there so I could refer to it if I got lost even though I had a map book but then from my experience it wasn’t so update to date.


I then slowly made my way down Sanjo-dori and toward the deer enclosure althought before I reached there I would have taken a lot of detours…..


This thing actually plays a melody when it’s safe to cross the road……..DANG! Hell of a lot better then the one in Malaysia!


So clear and nice…


I should have gotten the Nikon 12-24mm DX lens then. But at that time when I had bought the Nikon 17-35mm lens, the FX format had not been released yet but I was playing with film and I wanted something I could use between film and DX format). In any event, it doesn’t matter.


I soon reached Sarusawa pond. Dang it was beautiful how the light shone over the water…..


I then decided to climb the steps leading up to Kofuku-ji temple.


While climbing the stairs I came across a lot of these things. I’m not sure what they are, I came across the same thing when I was at Kamakura.


From there I soon found myself at Kofuku-ji temple. I then wondered around for a while looking for some great shots.


I so wish I had bought a wider lens!!!!


I then found myself at one of the deer enclosure along the road 169. Where was this? wasn’t sure.


A close up shot of this deer. At this point, the battery indicator one my camera started to blinked. I then sat my bag down to change to another set of batteries.
But as I held both the fresh sets of AA batteries in my hand as well as the old set (16 in total), one of the deer got behind me and bump me with it’s head hoping for some food. This caused me to drop all my batteries and I lost track which was the fresh ones and the dead ones! @_@ CRAP! 16 double AA batteries! The permutations were insane and my original lithium was on the charger back in Kyoto! I had no choice but to purchase fresh AA batteries from a street vendor who was selling deer food as well as disposable cameras…..the price was …….extreme >_<. Anyway the deer was still following, so being the softy I am I fed it some of the deer food I bought along with the batteries.
This brought to next thing I found out about these deers, the minute I unwrapped the deer food, I think about 5 to 6 of them popped out of nowhere and wanted some @_@.
I suddenly know how Tsukasa of Lucky star felt when she too was overwhelmed by the deers!


One of the deers I saw resting. I think this was the one that bumped me from behind? I couldn’t tell them apart.


After stumbling around for a while taking pics of the deers and the surrounding area, I found myself near the Nara National Museum. Where I spotted this deer trying get food from this bunch of schoolgirls.


More deer shots, yes I know boring but I find them so cute!


I kept hearing of lot of girls squealing, when I turned to the direction of the noise I saw that the same deer was still bothering. The girls then ran off quickly and the deer looking defeated turn around to look for free handout elsewhere……

I then decided to rest for a while by one of the stalls and have a breather. I bought one of those deer biscuit and in an instant I was surrounded by deers.


As I was feeding the deer, I think it was this guy. He charged and rammed me in the side which sent me tumbling. At that time I was completely disoriented by what had happen. The others deers had scattered and from what I was told later that deer was coming back for another round of whack-a-lex! Still a bit dazed by the hit, the shopkeeper came to my help and scared off the deer with a stick.
Helping me up he asked if I was alright, I checked my body and found no broken bones and thanked him for his help else I would have been really hurt then. I then went on my way kept watch of that deer.


I then passed by one of the toriis there and it seemed to have led me to a bigger deer enclosure.


This time I kept my distance from any deers nearby.


Here we have a lass wondering what the hell I was doing.

Moving along I then found myself on a hill overlooking a large lake


Where I then stumble upon this deer.


After that, I slowly made my way to the Todai-ji temple which is a famous unesco world heritage site. But along the way I saw many things as well.


By this time, the place was crowd….hmmmm


More deers! They’re everywhere!!!!


It was beautiful, tranquil and peaceful. ^_^ hmmmmm


Here was some guy feeding the deers. Notice how they all converge upon him. At this point my hip started to hurt……crap. Guess that bumped from earlier was not so light after all….


Anyway, continuing along…..


No, I think I’ll avoid going down this road…..


A stage in the middle of a pond? @_@?


Oddly enough that while this is the main entrance but it seems that the official one was actually down…….


here…..@_@?


After getting my ticket I was then told that no tripods are allowed, I then proceeded to tell the lady, “No problem! Cos I’m too lazy to bring one!”


The Toda-ji temple, the world famous unesco heitage site. Why is it so famous?


Well I actually don’t know the main reason but I think one of the them has to be size! It was HUGE!


And why would it need to be so big? Maybe because it houses 3 giganic buddha statues?


I went around the whole place taking a number of shots but it was just way to dark even with ISO3200 and flash photography wasn’t allowed so I decided to holster my gear and just enjoy the sights.

I then exited the place and headed out the east gate. Where I then came across this….


Giving a pet, I then headed off.

I then decided to go the lantern lined walkway.


Photoreview: In retrospect I should have lowered my shooting angle so the leafs wouldn’t be covering the top portion of the temple else this would have been a great shot!


This was going to be one long walk………


Is this……sake?


Note to self, in future trips, bring only bare essentials! Carrying 12kg of stuff is insane!! Especially when going UP HILL!


I believe this was the Kasuga Grand Shrine.


Hmmm? What’s this?


Ohhhhhhhhh! 800 years old?!


After that, there was a big round about so I just went with the flow.


I then headed back.


I soon found myself at the deer enclosure and upon entering I heard a loud noise. It sounded like grass were being cut minus the lawnmover. It was rather errie.

I looked around realized the source of the noise were….


it was a huge herd of deers comping up the grass at high speed.


This one nibble all the grass till my feet where it then stopped and looked up at me.

After that I spend most of my time just hanging around there watching them eat. It was rather calming and peaceful. A feeling I enjoyed a lot, this greatly help the pain that was building up in my hips.


It was getting late so I then went to have dinner.


Wait…I’ve seen this spatula before…….


I then headed back to the train station when I came across this shop, I bought some film as well as an extra battery for my S5 pro.

Today went well, though I wish I could have had more time here but such is the problem with limited vacation. I managed to get the shots I wanted and seen what I wanted. Now it was time to get some rest and prepare for the next day.

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2 thoughts on “Day 8: Nara

  1. Gosh! Amazing shots man! Seeing your shots, i was like taken back in time enjoying the morning fresh air of Nippon. The vast difference in your adventure is you saw more non-tourist shots, reli. All I had, on tour, in Nara was like 1 hour! shit! Luckily i went on my own for a while n manage to c the calm small pond, the only one who saw in my tour group. Those DEERS!! haha. One gay deer humped my fren as he was down picking up the food! HOHOHOH. Post more of Japan adventure!

  2. Thanks man! While I ave to admit, the lack of any itinerary at all made my plans a little bit way to hectic but I have to admit I had a lot of fun then.
    As for the deers, I would keep an eye out for them from now on as a result.

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