We bought our last train tickets – to and from Nara for today and to Osaka tomorrow – and then caught the next train to Nara. It was a slow one, but waiting for a fast one would not have got us there any faster.
At the station in Nara we then bought bus tickets for the day and obtained a map of the town. So we caught a bus to Nara Park and were surprised at the number of deer and how tame they are.
People bought food for them and they ate out of the hand and wander around between all the visitors. We walked across to the Kofukuji temple, but found it was all enclosed and being renovated, the Tokondo Hall was open and we saw the 5 tiered pagoda behind it.
While we were there we could hear some drumming and soon a group of ladies led by a priest came past all with small flat hand drums and humming. They stopped in front of the hall for a brief pause and then carried on.
Turning right we saw the Octagonal hall and 3 tiered pagoda.
Beside the octagonal hall was the bell with a sign on it saying ‘do not toll bells in temples’! Beside it was a naartjie tree with lots of fruit on it, ripe as well as green – we have not seen any others before although there are supposed to be over 50 different kinds in Japan.
Going down some steps we found ourselves at a pleasant pond – the Saruawa-ike pond with lots of tortoises and koi in it.
This post is an extract of my mother’s travel journal written during a tour of Japan in 2014.