"Deer monsters lurking in the bush" Nara by Assenczo
Nara Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 49 photos
Nara is one of the oldest capitals of Japan and fortunately it has retained its regal air unlike Kyoto where the modern civilization is pushing relentlessly up the slopes. As if to underline its closeness to Nature, city authorities have let loose some deer in the park- like areas around the temples. These creatures are not your regular shy deer but hungry-for-action monsters. Instead of grazing on the abundant greenery amongst the temples they stay almost in line along the tourist trail (souvenir stands) and stalk foreigners and locals alike for biscuits and other sugar rich goodies. Being my mischievous me, I tried to trick and treat one these gourmet eaters. I passed down in front of the nose of one deer my Nara map to see whether it has a sense of humor. Oh, no, it had none left. The deer-monster bit ferociously into my map and started to pull and twist. MY…, I could have been left without any cultural and geographical guidance! Determined not to give in, I charged aggressively and recovered a portion of my map. The rest was swallowed and put into good use after (I presume) well digested and sprinkled back on the meadows.
Animals are not the main attraction in Nara. It is the temples, pagodas and other religion related sites and structures. The largest wooden building in the world according to some sources contains if not the largest for sure one of the biggest Buddhas I have ever seen (the reclining Buddha in Bangkok is a formidable competition but it is made of different material and it is in different pose in a building that has no room left around it). While recovering from the shock by the out-of-this-world view, the pious visitor can buy good fortunes, neatly packaged in small pouches. You just have to wish and it will come true. Mine did not come true but it must be because I was not too convinced from the very beginning, so Buddha had to put me in my place.
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