Sunday, September 5, 2010

Summer 11: Nara and Osaka

On the 24th we took a trip to Nara and Osaka. We started out the day heading for Fushimi Inari shrine (which is in Kyoto), but we got on an express train which skipped the stop we needed. So, we just headed for Nara first instead.

We went to Nara Park, which is famous for its deer. I bought some senbei (crackers) for them. I wasn't really sure how the deer would react to the crackers. I figured that since so many tourists feed the deer that they might be sick of the crackers. I was sooooo wrong. As soon as I bought them the deer started coming towards me. They were trying to take the crackers from me. It was a little bit scary, but a lot of fun! 

I bought an interesting drink from a vending machine. It didn't even sound good, but I wanted it because it was weird. It's Minute Maid Aloe and White Grape. It was strange because it had a bunch of jello pieces in it. The juice itself wasn't bad, but the jello wasn't so great. It wouldn't have been too bad if there had only been a few pieces here and there, but it was like half jello, half juice. I still drank (ate?) it all, but I wont be buying it again.

Then we headed towards Todaiji Temple which is famous for its giant Buddha statue. On the way we saw tons of deer.

The deer don't like old women with canes or little girls with pigtails.

Todaiji Temple! It's big!

The giant Buddha was a bit bigger than I expected!

I love the various manhole covers found in different cities. Nara's is really cute!

This deer is very well behaved! He's crossing (well, attempting to cross) at the deer crossing sign!

Here are a couple more pictures of the freaky mascot. 
Oh, yeah... this sign reminds me that Nara is celebrating its 1300th anniversary. So old!

After visiting Nara, we took the train to Osaka, which is Japan's 3rd largest city. Tokyo is number one and Yokohama is number 3. Now I've been to the three biggest cities in Japan.

We went to Osaka Castle. It's a fairly recent reconstruction (completed in 1997), but it's still cool. I really liked the view of the moat with the city in the distance.

We then tried to find Dotonbori, a street that runs along a canal. It took us a while to find, but we finally found it!

Some guy was taking his lizard for a walk. His back was towards me until I tried to take a picture of course. So I quickly moved my camera and so it's blurry. Boo. :(

You can get a lot of things from vending machines... even haircuts!

Then we headed back to Kyoto! We just had one last day in Kyoto. :(

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