Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Japanese Summer: Chapter Five

Yes. That's me. How cool is that picture?

Total awesomeness. Kudos to Cubbie who lurked behind me as I ventured ahead into unknown teritory. LOL. Am sure Cik Datang will once again kick up a fuss on why is there seem to be no one around in Japan. *giggles* Shouldn't tourist spot being crowded with tourists? Such a shot should be impossible. *smiles*

That's the thing about travelling on your own. You go to amazing spots normal tours just don't take you to. Sure, they take you to Nara but probably to only that one major temple that everyone knows about and that's probably the only thing you'll remember about Nara. Me? I'll always remember the sound of cricket that surrounded us as we stroll along the path that leads us to one great monument to another. That insane 5km walk the two of us started during the day and ended during the night. Plus the walk to the stations, to the hotel, to practically everywhere we went, it probably amounted to 10km of insane walking. Now, that's memory!

Alright, so here with go!

We took the early train out from Tokyo, didn't stop in Kyoto and head straight to Nara. Again, it was a weekday and it was almost noon by then, so the train was pretty much empty. What's different about this ride from others is....

jeng jeng jeng!

It's fan-operated. HAHAHAHA... all the sky high canggih-ness of Japan, and yet you'll find somethings like this that brings you back to the ground. *grins*

It was lunch time when we reached Nara and once again we hunt for the little udon mise recommended by our ever trusting Lonely Planet guidebook. The shop unlike our last Okonomiyaki hunt was located along one straight road. The challenge here instead was to spot the shop. For some reason, the name of the shop was not highlighted in a big signboard at all but instead was written on the Noren (aka the split curtain thingy you'll find in most Japanese restaurant) and it was written in small letters above the big UDON word instead. *points to the picture above* Lucky me for my essential hiragana knowledge. ^_^

Lookie at Cubbie promoting the menu.
All drawn and scribbled in a brush effect.

Now lookie at how biggie the bowl is! That's the thing with food in Japanese. They may not be cheap but they're HUUUUGE!! (-.-) 木の葉うどん aka Konoha Udon, 650 yen, approximately RM20. Yes Cubbie. It's Konoha Udon. HAHAHA... we didn't even know that when we ordered cause I don't know how to read the kanji but I just checked as I wrote this post. We ate a Naruto-ish udon without us realising it.


After lunch, our 5km walk begins!

Get ready for all the pretty pweeetty shots hereon.

The climb was only the beginning of a tiring day.
And see! There's people around. XD

Lots of these little guys too. *bows to show respect* Little buddhist status with bips around them. That's what me and Cubbie called them and in no way we meant to be disrespectful. *bows again*

A rare view of the Kofuku-ji temple.

An even rarer view of the pagoda. *points to the one Ojiichan is drawing* Both of us were totally beh paiseh as we snooped around Ojiichan to had a sneak peak of his work and even took a photo behind his back. HAHAHAHA....

Ojiichan: *mumbles* annoying young tourists...


Uwah... Now this is what Nara is all about. Shika! Shika and more Shika! *in a small voice* Shikamaru. *runs away before she gets whacked by Cubbie*

Or in English: Deers! Lots and lots of them. Roaming freely and nibbling at anything possible. From deer food to your hand-held maps. So beware if you ever visit Nara, make sure you don't loose your map to the deers. *grins*

The funniest part of this video was Cubbie. HAHAHA... she was so engross recording it that she bumped her camera against the deer's antler which was followed by lots of giggles.

And I kid you not when I say the deers are everywhere!

And they're pretty much used to us humans already.

See this model trishsaw? It's much regrettable that we didn't take any pictures of the real thing. With real man running it. Semua jejaka jejaka tegap wei!! Super tanned from running under the sun and super fit from the exercise, all clad in their traditional rider's outfit. Woohoo! YET! Both of us don't have a single picture of it.

(o_O) W-H-Y?!?

No. We were not busy drooling.


Finally. After a long stroll along Nara Park, crossed some streets, went under some under-passage to cross bigger roads... we're here! To the big gate to Todaiji temple. This is known as Nandaimon or in English, the Great South Gate.

Even though you have reached the big big gate, there's still a loooooong walk ahead.



I disapprove the idea of paying to go to a temple.
That's just beat the whole point of going to one. (-__-)

Oh well. Am not the one in charged.

You'll probably seen this shot in newspapers and stuff but I saw the real thing. *grins*

AMUSING STUFF can be found in the temple.

No worries. Photos are permitted.
Just don't set up your tripod. That is not allowed. (O_o)

I paid to have a go at fortune.

And I got a humble "Good Luck".

Cubbie got a "Late Good Luck". It's okay, I share some of mine with you now and then I'll tap some of yours later on when it comes around, neh? LOL.

MORE AMUSING STUFF found in the temple.

Here's a big pillar in the middle of the temple and there's a hole through it. Little kids crawl across that hole. @_@ If I'm not wrong, I think I remembered over-hearing someone explaining that it suppose to bless little children to grow. Interesting.

Alright. We're done with the famous temple. Now we're all ready to venture deeper for more. Inside is where Cubbie got the shot of me walking in the middle of nature (the first picture of this post). From here on, the crowd got lesser as not many explore this route, which is a shame as you'll get to enjoy...


and this....

and this this.

Now if I were to post every temple, shrine and pretty stuff I took in our 5km walk, you'll either be in awe of the beauty or be seriously bored.


Seriously. That highlighted pink route is how much we covered for the entire day. From the black and white railway track where we arrived, one big circle and the walk back. AHHH!

See! Sudah evening pun.

And so we had our dinner in a little shop in the middle of nowhere. *grins* Simple curry rice. Sorry. No picture of the food. I think we were just hungry and gobbled it all down when it arrived. (^o^)

And then we waited for it to get dark.


For this! *hearts*

It was the summer lantern lightning event in Nara.

All the prettiness at night. *smiles*

What was a quiet street during the day when we arrived turned into a bustling street of summer night festivities. Like the many scenes we've seen in anime and Japanese shows, people came out to enjoy the summer cheers in their yukata. It was certainly a delightful atmosphere and am so glad we were there to experience it.

Good spot to buy souvenir goodies neh.

Video for a more "real" experience. (^_^)

That's it. Good bye Nara!

Previously on "A Japanese Summer" *hahaha*
A Japanese Summer: Prologue
A Japanese Summer: Chapter One (i) Arriving in Japan
A Japanese Summer: Chapter One (ii) A Day Out in Tokyo
A Japanese Summer: Chapter Two (i) Hokkaido Saikou!
A Japanese Summer: Chapter Two (ii) Off to the Farm
A Japanese Summer: Chapter Two (iii) To Asahiyama Zoo
A Japanese Summer: Chapter Three The Okonomiyaki Hunt
A Japanese Summer: Chapter Four (i) A Day at Disney
A Japanese Summer: Chapter Four (ii) A Magical Night of Disney


Cubbie said...

I... miss Nara walk. I really do. T_T Damn tiring, yes, but like you said, either be bored or marveled and how we marveled! Ahahaa! At the tiniest things somore. Remember the temple's chopping aka stamp thing? AHAHHAHA~~

Vin aka hiyashi said...

I read your comments for the disney post and I was kinda expecting this to begin with "I miss..." HAHAHAHA... and I expect you'll say the same thing in my next Japanese Summer post again.

And yes, we gila "chop" every paper and envelope we had. *lol*