Day 2: Kyoto and Nara
After a good night’s rest, we head to the Tokufuji temple which is in the outskirt of Kyoto, a train ride away. The queue outside its entrance simply reflect that this temple is a must see. The queue was long but moving forward fairly swiftly. Tourism in Japan must be making lots of money. Admission fee is 400 yen per person, you do the math!
Upon entering we were on this wooden and elongated pathway, overlooking its maple tree garden. Yes, more red leaves (and bigger crowds)! The view was very pleasant though it would be better with fewer people. Nevertheless, it was still a worthwhile visit.
We moved on to its main building which is a wooden castle. We were only permitted to mingle and take pictures at its vicinity. It was locked and looked deserted inside. There was a little zen garden. I especially loved the wooden door textures and colour.
Next stop was another temple, Fushimi Inari. Kenix said the temple houses two foxes to which the Japanese prays for agricultural harvest. The fox statues were seen everywhere. However, the most eye-catching feature of this place was its numerous shrines. It was quite a sight!
We then took a train to Nara, arriving by noon time. The main attraction in Nara is their deer park where deers roam freely and you get to feed them with biscuits and pet them. From the train station, we took a bus to the deer park. The first thing I noticed was the horns of the male deers were all cut off, which I thought was sad. Perhaps it’s for safety purposes. Well anyway, we started walking around the park feeding deers with biscuits bought there. It was after lunch and quite a number of the deers were lazing around minding their own business. Some just did not bother to eat, even if you shove the food to their mouth. Had too much to eat I guess.
We made our way to another huge temple within the park, the Todaiji temple. It was simply beautiful! Unlike the Tokufuji, this temple is still active. There’s a gigantic statue of buddha inside and many were praying. There were also few other statues beside buddha which I did not recognise.
Then, Kenix and I and started lining up to wait for our turn to crawl through some hole which would bring good luck. The queue was pretty long and since we paid the admission fee, might as well try out everything there is! Ryan who didn’t join us in line, went further up to take pictures and came back telling us that it’s actually for kids and we won’t be able to crawl through the hole because it’s too small! Ah well, we went up the line with him and indeed it was a very small hole, through one of the wooden pillars.
We took a bus back to Nara city centre and had dinner. There, I parted ways with everyone because it’s a working day the next day for them. I took the train back to Kyoto alone and spent another night in the same hostel as the previous night. It had been a very long day and my I could already see a few big blisters on my foot due to excessive walking for 2 days straight!
Next up: Hiroshima
- Autumn in Japan (II): Kyoto and Nara
- Autumn in Japan (IV): Tokyo
- Autumn in Japan (V): Kawaguchiko (Mt Fuji)
- Autumn in Japan (VI): Disneyland
- Autumn in Japan (VII): Shinjuku and Shibuya & Okutama and Machida
- Autumn in Japan (VIII): Harajuku