Original Capital of Japan

Trip Start Nov 04, 2007
Trip End Nov 14, 2007

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Monday, November 5, 2007

Nara was the first capital of Japan. There is a huge park in the center of town with lots of temples and shrines. The most popular one is Todai-Ji. The Daibutsu-Den Hall in the center of the grounds is the largest wooden building in the world and it is only one third of it's original size having been rebuilt after it burned down in 1709. There was a large bronze Buddha inside and some impressive huge wooden carvings. All throughout the park and shrines there were Japanese lanterns covered in moss. There were also loads of deer. Years ago they were considered messengers of the gods so today they are national treasures. They can also get quite aggressive with the tourists as this poor girl found out! Here I got to see a real Pagoda (5 stories!)

My room was interesting, a traditional style room in a ryokan or Japanese inn. When I first showed up there was nothing in the room and I thought I was in for an uncomfortable night on the floor in my sleeping bag. When I came back later however they had set up a futon that had been in the closet earlier-very comfy!
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