Day trip to Nara

Trip Start Mar 10, 2009
Trip End Nov 09, 2009

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Flag of Japan  , Kinki,
Friday, April 3, 2009

Howdy peeps.  This won't be too long of a blog entry cuz it was only a day trip for birnie and I.  We woke up and decided to use our Seishun 18 Kippu for the hour and a half trip to Nara.  It was a crappy day, raining when we left the hostel, but Nara was rumored to be a must-see, mainly because of Todai-ji Temple so a little rain wasn't going to prevent us from making the trek.
We arrived in Nara and headed towards the main park and temple area.  First off, the biggest attraction seemed to be the deer that were everywhere!  In Nara, all of the deer population from the hills come out of hiding during the day to beg for food from the tourists.  It really is quite a spectacle and for an animal lover like myself, I was happy to make their acquaintance. You can buy these stacks of crackers from street vendors for about 100 or 150 yen and the deer go crazy for them.  See all of the pictures throughout this entry and you will understand what I am talking about.
So as I was baby-talking bambi and all of her friends, birnie was taking pics and it was a nice replacement for missing my girls Lucy and Pepper.  As I'm sure it was for birnie who was missing Tootsie and Tex.  So after spending about $100 on crackers for the deer, we headed through the park and into the gates of Todai-ji.  Todai-ji Temple as noted above is one of the most famous temples in all of Japan.  It is made of wood and it is said to be the largest all wood building in the world.  It also claims the largest buddha in the world, also made of wood.
It definitely is spectacular.  If you are into Buddhism and temples in general, it is a must see in Japan - even on a rain soaked day.
The temple itself was awesome. All sorts of buddhas, statuettes, and gate guardians that impress you and make for excellent photo opportunities.  So as we walk through this temple, I come to an area that gives you your buddhist fortune.  What you do is shake this box that has hundreds of sticks in it, and when you flip it over and one stick portrudes from the hole (kind of like a giant toothpick canister) you pull it out and hand it to the monk.  I figure what the hell. I am in the most amazing temple in all of Japan, with the biggest buddha, tons of deer on a dreary but great day, let me see how Buddhism will treat me.
I shake the box, out pops a stick - I pull it out and the number on the stick is 46.  I think sweet......4 and 6.  My birthday is June 4th, this is a good sign.  I must also mention that on the wall is a list of dozens of fortunes ranging from almost god-like at the top, to NO LUCK at the bottom.  Basically a buddhist fortune list ranging from heaven to hell.
Well wouldn't you know it.  My fortune is given to me by the monk......and yup.......NO LUCK.  See the pic within this blog as a verification of what transpired.  Of course I was like.....are you f'ing kidding me? As birnie giggles uncontrollably like a school girl, i read my fortune from top to bottom with the monk smiling in amusement.. Feel free to read it yourself and have a good laugh at my expense. But to summarize, I am a loser.  Not a man of the times.  Will have no success.  Will find no love.  Will not be happy. Shouldn't travel. Will get sick as a dog, almost dying, but will luckily recover after near death experience.  And lastly, any competition I have in my life, I will lose.
Sweet.  I love Buddhism.
I have since converted to Daoism.  China is treating me much better, so screw those buddhists!
Well anyway, after a bunch of laughs, birnie and I headed out to grab some lunch and wander the park a little bit longer. On a positive note, the deer liked me, so I spent another $100 buying crackers and petting them as a means to feel loved.
The lunch was awesome.  Birnie and I were soaked, but the food was good, and the masala chai tea was spectacular.
We had had our fill for the day, and headed back to the train station to return to Kyoto.

Hope you enjoy the post and next up is Hiroshima and Miyajima!!! On y va!
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