Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Off to Nara to see the deer
Our last Kyoto day was earmarked for a daytrip to Canberra's sister city, Nara. That was about all I knew about Nara, but my sister told me the main draw was a large park with lots of deer, and that sounded pretty good.
We arrived late in the morning and pretty soon we were ready for lunch, so the first stop was the tiny okonomiyaki place. Then we headed a few blocks off the main tourist trail to try to find the Nara Craft Museum on our way to the park. We got a bit confused. I think we had one of those maps that only shows main streets, not smaller lanes. But the wandering was all made worthwhile when we came across a definitely not tourist-oriented, genuinely cheap op (thrift) shop where everything seemed to be about 100yen. We did find the craft museum after that, and with it our first two deer (above) for the day.
I think we took the longest possible walking route to get into the park. But it was worth it when we got there. It rained lightly on and off all day, but it wasn't cold, and we had a fun time exploring the large and very beautiful park, and admiring the many deer.
There were heaps of deer everywhere and they are obviously used to being in close proximity to humans.
Plenty of deer poo on the paths, too.
I can see why people fall so in love, aesthetically, with Japan. Even the drains are beautiful, or at least pleasingly arranged.
And below, one of the fanciest manhole covers I saw - not in the park but back in town - features one of Nara's pretty deer.
Due to our 'long way round' approach to Nara Park, we only came across this warning about deer dangers on our way out. I'm plesaed to report we made it all the way through the park without experiencing Bite, Kick, Butt, or Knock down. I decided that kangaroos are more scary.