Want to take a day trip from Osaka to somewhere else? Want to venture out of Osaka but don’t know where to go? My suggestion is to take a day trip to Nara from Osaka.
From Osaka to Nara is about 38 minutes by train. We planned to visit Nara for half a day in the morning. After breakfast, we walked to Osaka-Namba station to take the Kintetsu train to Kintetsu Nara station. This station is the closest to the Nara Park and Todaiji temple. The walking distance from the station to Nara Park is about 20 minutes.
Along the way from the station, we could see some pop-up stores selling deer biscuits/cookies that cost 150 Yen each (cheap!). So we bought one pack for the kids to try feeding the deer along the way to the Park. The deer that were nearest to the Kintetsu Nara station were mostly fed by visitors. So, sometimes they would refuse the food that the kids gave them.
As we walked further and nearer to the Park, the deer were more than welcoming for our arrival with food in hands. Sometimes, they would follow us wherever we went. But, watch out because there were signs warning us to be careful with these usually mild in nature animal that they could be dangerous sometimes. See the warnings below.
Once we were at the Park, all we could see were people, lots of people and of course, the deer as well. Some of the deer here were a little aggressive, i.e. tried to snatch the cookies from visitors’ hands. So beware.
It was December and was supposedly winter time in Japan. However, we still could see the fall foliage at this Park. This made the Park Instagram-worthy.
The Great South Gate
Before we reached the Todaiji Temple, we had to pass by the Great South Gate (Nandai-mon) which is the main gate of the Temple. It is the largest temple entrance gate in Japan. Before stepping into the Temple compound, we had to go through the two fierce-looking muscular guardians at each side of the Gate. They were kind of intimidating.
Todaiji Tempe and Buddha Statue
Next stop, the Todaiji Temple, which is the largest wooden building in the world and also a UNESCO cultural heritage site. It houses Japan’s largest bronze’s Buddha statue. Seeing is believing. You have to personally see this temple and the statue to know that they were HUGE. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the temple in front of me. I was in awe of the massive wooden structure. And inside, there sitting a gigantic Buddha statue with lots of worshippers praying and making offerings. The temple was filled with thick smoke from the incense burning.
A visitor dressed for the occasion inside the temple.
Outside the temple, there was a hand washing station for visitors to wash their hands.
Right in front the Temple, there was the Octagonal Lantern.
Half a day was done just like that in a nick of time. So we decided to go to the restaurant near the Kintetsu Nara station for lunch before leaving Nara. The shopping street, Higashimuki Nakamachi, just next to the station, had lines of restaurants, cafes, drug stores, souvenir shops etc.
We chose this small little restaurant that was cosy. However, maybe it was lunch time, so the place was quite busy. Most of the tables were filled with patrons waiting to order the food, while the waitresses were busy clearing tables and bringing hot delicious food to the customers.
After our lunch, we headed back to Osaka from Kintetsu Nara station. We had a great time and really enjoyed ourselves.
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