Once Japan's capital long ago in 710, Nara is now a rather small town famous for its park complete with old temples and shrines, beautiful gardens and deer walking freely throughout Nara Park.
Not far from the entrance there is the rather large Ara Pond with scores of turtles sitting by the water. Before that though, I first became acquainted with the deer walking directly for me. Luckily in Nara Park there are many spots selling special ‘cookies’ to feed the deer. I bought two packages and were literally gone in two moments! I bought some more later on and fed more deer. I liked the deer...
As I also like Japanese gardens, I made my way to the gardens close by. Yoshiki-en garden is a classically landscaped garden and free for overseas visitors. I took my time there to walk around, sitting down at choice locations to enjoy the views and took many photos. The next garden was the 'stone' one, Isui-en, which also offered peaceful scenic views.
After relaxing at the gardens I went to see the famous Todaiji Temple with the largest indoor bronze Buddha statue looking quite majestic. Some of the old wooden parts of the temple and the gates were indeed impressive. Kasuga Taisha was the next stop on my route. The way there was lined by old lanterns and I later found rows of hung lanterns in the shrine that were very beautiful and unusual.
On the way back I took a rest in the park with a view of the blooming sakura, the wooden pavilion reflected in the water, all the while watching a lovely sunset. After a day of walking, the tonkatsu dinner I had was just delicious!
Find out more about Nara Park.