We spent a very full day in the little town of Nara, just 40 minutes outside of Kyoto. After we dropped off our luggage at the luxurious Wakasa Bettei we met our tour guide Chieko who is a volunteer with the Nara Guide Club. Throughout the day she showed us all of the main spots in Nara and did a wonderful job patiently explaining the history of this little town!
Isui-en Garden– A traditional Japanese Garden that was built in the 17th century. It has what is called a “borrowed” scenery feature because the garden incorporates the natural surroundings into it.
Todai-ji Temple: One of Japans most famous temples and Nara’s most popular. The Todaiji temple; the worlds largest wooden building holds a Buddha that is 15 meters tall!
Nara deer: Nara is famous for it’s 1200 deer that live and roam freely throughout the town. The town promotes feeding the deer and you can even buy deer cookies! We actually tried the deer cookies ourselves and they are mostly just oats. Some of the deer are really cute, and some are rude and greedy! One even dared to head butt my butt!
Kasuga Taisha and surroundings: We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling through the Grand Shrine area and marvelling at the beauty of everything.
About mid afternoon we were ready for a a little Sake tasting!
After our day with Chieko was finished we headed back to our Ryokan where we relaxed in the Onsen and prepared for our 8 course Kaiseki dinner. It was by far the most beautifully elaborate meal I have ever had. The dinner lasted 2.5 hours and at one point we even had a photo shoot. What a day!