A perfect spring day in Nara


Sunny and warm afternoon at Nara park


My trip began in Osaka, though I barely spent any time there except for the evenings. My good friend has recently moved to Sendai (we originally met in London) flew over to Osaka to meet me before I continued on with my journey. And I suggested that we take the train and spend the day in Nara, the ancient capital of Japan (before Kyoto).

Yet we started off the morning getting lost at the confusing and maze-like Osaka train station (just like Shinjuku and Tokyo stations), and it took us some time to find the right track and train to go Nara, which is about 45 mins to one hour away depending on the trains.




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It was a relief to get away from the hustle and bustle of Osaka. Even though Nara is also popular with tourists, it is much more relaxing, probably due to the expansive Nara park in the middle of the city. Most of the famous temples like Todai-ji Temple and Kasuga-Taisha Shrine are located within the park, so it is easy to spend a full day wandering around the park, which was exactly what we did.



Lunch was Kamameshi, a traditional aromatic cooked-in-an-iron-pot rice and vegetables with seafood or meat.


The park is huge and has over 1000 hungry and aggressive deer roaming around for food. These deer would do anything to get food, including bowing (they are Japanese after all)! The warning signs in the park are hilarious and quite acurate (see below).


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deers nara




Todai-ji Temple

Todai-ji Temple


During our visit, we were blessed with sunny and warm weather, accompanied by the beginning of the cherry blossom season. Although they are not fully bloom yet, it was still lovely to see rows of cherry trees around the park.



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Matcha dessert at Mizuya Chaya


Kasuga-Taisha Shrine


Kasuga-Taisha Shrine




Kofuku-ji Temple

Kofuku-ji Temple


At the end of the day, we completely lost track of time… although we were exhausted from all the walking, we couldn’t believe that the sun was about to set, and that we had to return to Osaka. We both thought it was a perfect day – a relaxing day in a picturesque setting, I mean what more can you ask for?


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Osaka’s Dotonbori


The transition from tranquil Nara to hectic Dotonbori in Osaka was almost too overwhelming for me. I did not enjoy being in central Osaka at all. Yet I knew this would soon pass because I would be heading off to Koyasan, Japan’s sacred mountain on the next day…


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