Monday, January 11, 2016

Nara in a Day

Second leg of our epic 12-day adventure took us to Nara, the home of the friendliest deers! I know it sounds silly when I say deers but after this post, I think you'll understand what I mean.

We didn't really have an itinerary for Nara because we planned on getting the Nara 1-day bus pass (only costs 500 yen) and decided to just do the itinerary along the bus route. Personally for me, Nara was a surprise because I'm usually very detailed about trip planning and I want to know every single thing. But unusually for this leg, I didn't care so much. I allowed Nara to surprise me and surprise me, it really did!

The Nara bus pass is a very convenient way to go around Nara. Nara is quite small and people go around primarily by taking the bus. The Nara bus pass goes on a loop track passing through most of the major tourist spots in Nara as well as the train stations. We bought our passes at the train station when we arrived, went down the bus stop near the station and started on our adventure :)


Tour Highlights:

Nara Park
The first stop on our tour is Nara Park. We really weren't sure where Nara Park is but from the guide that they gave us with our bus pass, it's supposed to be where all the deer was. DEER! We really couldn't figure out at first what bus stop to go down on, but when we started seeing deer, we decided it was our stop.

 
NinJay chasing Deer from Ninin Sampiano on Vimeo.
The bus guide was really helpful because the spots were all on the loop and if you follow it exactly as it says, you won't have trouble getting around.

Todaiji-DaibutsudenTemple
Our next stop was not so far from Nara Park and another place that got me squealing in glee! There were so many deer! OMG, I was like a little girl in that place. I thought all the deer were in Nara Park but lo behold, there were MORE deer in this area. They were just roaming around, interacting with the crowd, sleeping, doing whatever deers do in their spare time. They were the cutest!


Kasuga Taishi Shrine
It's quite a distance to go to this shrine. And as we've mentioned before, almost all the nice tourist spots in Japan are uphill. The walk to the shrine was our first initiation to walking around in Japan.It took us more than 10,000 steps (yes, EJ had a step counter) just to get there. But it really is worth it. It is quite photogenic :)

We tried going to Nara-machi which the guide says you'd find quaint cafes but we were just around the streets with no luck finding it so we just hopped on the bus and went back to the station.

We had a very short but sweet stay in Nara. It is such a lovely town and it is very quiet and I really liked that feel. It is my favorite of all the places we went to cause navigation was easy and I could imagine just living there (with all the deer) and soaking in a private onsen (hot spring) on a daily basis.

Thank you very much Nara! Next stop: Kyoto


Fushimi-Inari Shrine, Kyoto
Related Posts:

Foodie Friday: Okonomiyaki
NinJay in Japan: NinJay in Japan
Osaka - Best of Osaka
Nara: Nara in a Day
Kyoto: Left my heart in Kyoto
Nagoya: Twinkling Lights in Nagoya
Hakone: Art and Nature in Hakone
Tokyo: Tokyo Highlights
Beauty: Japanese Beauty Haul

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