Japan 2014 post 18

October nineteenth
Today Yatchan and I woke up early again.we left the hotel after we had showers, and stopped for a quick bite to eat at McDonalds. We rented a car in Kusatsu then had to drive an hour or so to Yatchan’s work. It only took thirty minutes, but then he had to drive another hour and a half to another work place. That work took a bit longer, but I didn’t mind., I finished my book. I really like seeing Japan from the train, but driving was interesting as well. The highways in Japan are a lot different than in Canada. They’re much less relaxing for the driver! They’re more complicated, and crowded, and not straight all the time. I enjoyed the drive though, and there was some nice scenery along the way. We dropped the car off in Yamato Yagi, then took a train to Nara Koen (park) area. A short bus ride later (this time a proper bus) we were in Nara Koen itself. It was beautiful! And big too, with tons of trees, and grass, and even a creek. But what were even more amazing were the deer. Something like 1,400 deer live in park, and they’re completely unafraid of people. They roam freely, but mostly stay near humans, and you can let me, and even buy special deer sambe (crackers) to feed them. It was awesome. It was sort of like a zoo, but they weren’t caged. There were old deer, and baby deer, and make deer, and female deer. I was really taken with them. I’ve never seen anything like it in Canada. Yatchan and I sat on a park bench and ate the sushi we had bought near Nara, it was wrapped in persimmon leaves instead of seaweed. I’ve never had it before, but I would certainly have it again. Luckily we didn’t have any deer trying to steal our food, as sometimes happens in the park.
So if the park wasn’t cool enough, we went to Todaiji. It’s inside the park, so on our way there we stopped at one of the many food vendors and bought some Takoyaki. It’s a ball shaped, wheat based snack, typically filled with minced octopus, but sometimes tempura scraps, or green onions. The vendor was a bit surprised that a foreigners was ok with octopus. I loved it. When we finished we moved on, and came to the Todaiji. Todaiji is the largest wooden temple in the world, and inside sits the largest bronze Buddha in the world. The Buddha is 49.1 feet tall, and weighs 500 tonnes. It was an incredible sight to behold. There were other large and beautiful statues around it, but it took the prize for amazingness. The temple itself was incredible too. It’s a UNESCO world heritage sight, and rightly so. Part of the awe was just how big it was, but I liked the architecture as well. It was nice to be able to walk around inside and look at different things. In one of the pillars in the temple, there’s a fifty centimetre square hole (the same size as the Buddha’s nostril) and it’s said that if you can fit through it you will be guaranteed enlightenment. But I couldn’t find out if that was true, because we didn’t think I would fit. And indeed kids it was little kids that were getting through. The whole temple complex was beautiful, and I loved its architecture. I’m so glad I got to see it.
On the way out I bought some sambe, and feed the deer. That was fun. I’ve always been nervous that my fingers would get chomped feeding animals in the zoo, but this was an opportunity too cool to miss. There was a deer with a bad eye that Yatchan and I saw when we were going through the first gate into the temple, and then on the way out we saw it in the same place, tend I felt bad that I didn’t save any crackers for it. But I’m sure other people will treat it well.
Yat and I bused back to the station, then took several trains home. The Shinkansen was just as cool as if was yesterday, and I bought another box of those chocolate almonds. At Kyoto station we had bought their special Bento. There was such a variety of foods, it was great. There was rice, meat, vegetables, and desert. Yum yum!
Getting off the Shinkansen at Shinagawa, Yatchan and I had to do a ninja mission. Our next train left three minutes after the Shinkansen stopped, and it was a long ways away. As soon as the train doors opened, we took off running. I made sure to stay close to Yatchan so I didn’t loose him. We had to weave through people, sprint up escalators and down stairs, and we made it just in time. Luckily we didn’t hit anybody in our race. It wasn’t that long of a run, but we full out sprinted the whole way, so it took a little while to catch our breath on the train. I thought it was pretty fun. We had to switch trains again at Osaki, and again we only had a couple minutes to do so. It wasn’t quite so far, but we made it with less than a minute to spare.
We got off that train at Musashi Uruwa and took the bus to the closest stop from home. Then we walked the rest of the way. When we got home we said hi to everyone, and I unpacked. Then I went to bed, since it’s an ordinary day tomorrow. But it was sure an extraordinary weekend, I’m so glad Yatchan could take me. I really enjoyed it!
Christopher imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jacquee on October 23, 2014 at 6:31 am

    My goodness! I feel like I’ve been on an epic journey! You are blessed to experience this first hand! AND the food!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m jealous!

    Reply

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