Nara is close to Osaka, so while I was staying there, I went on a day trip to the famous shrines and temples of Nara. Just like Miyajima island there are tons of deer roaming around! Except that the Nara deer are very dangerous.
Check out what these evil beasts can do to little girls and old ladies with a walking stick! Simply shocking behaviour.
The braver tourists (and men without walking sticks and little boys) can buy deer biscuits at stalls dotted all around Nara park. I like the name of this franchise.
The deer wait patiently next to these vendors and once a tourist has paid, they accost the poor person to get to the biscuits. Basically, most people who buy the biscuits have to start running straight away if they don’t want half a dozen deer tugging at their clothes, biting their bags, bums and what not. It’s very funny to watch.
They even have deer themed prayer plaques at the shrines.
The first shrine I went to was quite small and pretty generic. I mean, still good to see but a lot of Japanese shrines are like that.
What I was more fascinated by was the office that I spied through an open door in the corner. Including an iMac!
Then I went off to see the main attraction, the Daibutsu = “Giant Buddha”. And that thing is huge! It’s 15 meters high and its nose is half a meter long.
This is where he lives, in the Daibutsuden (the Great Buddha Hall).
Here he is. I got a tourist to pose for me to illustrate the dimensions.
The Giant Buddha had a helper on each side. Here’s a photo with one of them.
Outside of the Great Buddha Hall they had a couple of these wooden guys displayed. When walking up to it I overheard a German teenager behind me exclaim with great joy: “Look Papa, that one looks just like aunty Gretel!”
Further into the park there’s also a famous walking path with a lot of lamps on either side. It leads to another temple with lots of hanging lamps.
I also randomly came across a deer antler cutting ceremony which apparently is very rare in Japan and in the world! But I’ll write about that in my next post.