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185 travelers at this place

  • Day14

    Nara Park

    September 14, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Nara Park is an Unesco world heritage site an hour away from Kyoto, it's famous for its hundreds and hundreds of wild deer living a good life being constantly fed by tourists. We tried some soft icecream (pretty much the same as at home) and melonpan bread which comes with all kinds of different flavours, for us it was caramel.
    On the way home we stopped at a local snack pub for some beer, plum wine (super sweet and nice, more like a liquor), cabbage with some peppery sauce on, and gyoza which is the little dumplings (these were a gift from one of the locals :) )
    At one point we really have to talk about the tolilets in Japan, so here it is:
    - Lucikly they are everywhere, we never stuggled to find one when in need.
    - Some are "normal" called "western style", some are "hole in the floor" called "Japanese" style - this is indicated on the door so you can choose which one you prefer.
    - Many times you can see a manual of how to use the western style toilet (to sum it up: sit down, then throw the paper in the toilet and flush it)
    - Some of these have a sink on top of the cistern, so we use the same water for washing hands and then flushing the toilet.
    - The western style ones are always super fancy (even in the shopping malls) you can find a little keypad on the wall or on the armrest with different buttons (most we don't understand). The most basics seem to be: music and bum wash with different strength water flow.
    - The bidet function is tickly and warm :)
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  • Day6

    Nara Park- Tōdai-ji

    January 15, 2020 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    Starting the day at Nara park mainly to visit the Daibutsu “Great Buddha” at Tōdai-ji. It’s one of the largest brzone Buddha’s in the world, with a total height of 15m his ears alone are 2m- they’re a little saggy! Built during the Nara period (710-784) by emperor Shōmu, it almost brought the country to bankruptcy.

    Other than the massive Buddha the other highlight has to be watching the Japanese and Chinese tourists being brought to tears by the deer that roam freely in Nara. One child was flipped into the mud by one rather aggressive deer!
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  • Day69

    Escaping the crowds - Yamanobe no michi

    May 18, 2019 in Japan ⋅ 🌬 22 °C

    To be honest, the sheer number of temples in Kyoto can be quite overwhelming. As can be the crowds. And it's a Saturday, to make matters worse.
    We decide to take a break. Instead of walking through Kyoto's narrow alleys with thousands of others, we take the train and head South to Nara. Originally we had planned to go on a temple run there, however, I had read about one of Japan's oldest roads, the Yamanobe no michi, in particular a well-known part of it which runs parallel to the JR Sakurai line. The prospect of exploring a bit of Japan's countryside is tempting. So we skip Nara and get off at Miwa instead. The old pilgrimage trail (it dates back to 700 AD) leads us past and through shrines and temples, forests, small farms, a cemetery and small villages. We see a source of sacred water, a traditional swordmaker (we meet the teacher and two of his students), flowers, orchards, rice fields, two snakes (don't worry, only tiny ones) and only a few other hikers. After roughly 11km we arrive in Tenri, marvelling at Isonokami temple almost by ourselves. Little did we know that we are in for another treat: on the way to the train station we pass a HUGE temple called Tenrikyo. We hadn't seen any other foreigners for the whole day and judging by the way people look and smile at us, we are a rare sight. We probably owe this rarity for being approached by Masui Jirou. He works at the temple and when he learns that it is our first time visiting, he is eager to show us around. We have a private tour guide, how lucky! Masui Jirou teaches us how to pray and tries to explain who we are worshipping, but unfortunately the language barrier doesn't allow a deeper religious conversation. Still, we understand each other well enough to exchange some small talk and become friends on facebook. What a nice guy! And what a wonderful coincidence to discover this place. On the way home we read that Tenrikyo is a newly established religion, but their rules and aims are a bit hard to understand, even in English. As always, mankind's salvation seems to be the ultimate goal. Filled with deep gratitude for such a lovely and calm day, we head home. Let's see what tomorrow will bring.

    For those who want to follow in our footsteps: we can highly recommend this walk for anyone who would like to get out of the city and the crowds. We started at Miwa and went to Tenri,both connected to the Sakurai JR line. It is roughly 11km, with lots of sights along the way. The whole trail is much longer, leading all the way to Nara. The part we walked seemed to be quite popular, as it's easily accessible and can be cut short at various intersections. It's well signed in English and offers a bit of an insight to Japanese country living.
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  • Day47

    To Kyoto, via Horyuji and Nara

    October 13, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Super busy day today. Packed up and headed out early, catching the train eastwards for about an hour to near the city of Nara. Our first stop was the Buddhist Monuments of Horyuji WHS, where there were some important temples and pagodas to check out. Thankfully this site isn't as famous as others we've seen recently, so it was relatively quiet which was nice. Though not as quiet as the previous day of course!

    Horyuji is one of the most important locations for Japanese Buddhists, and the spiritual home for one of their main sects. It's also home to what's considered to be the world's oldest wooden building! This building is a beautiful five-storey pagoda that's believed to house a fragment of Buddha's bone, though of course entry is forbidden (and I'm not even sure if it's possible). The pagoda is about 32 metres tall, and dendrochronology (ie, counting rings) suggests that the trees it's made from were felled in around 594 AD. Staggering. There's been fires at the complex in the past but it's managed to survive!

    The temple itself nearby is quite nice too, with impressive statues and the typical Buddhist relics, though photos aren't permitted for a lot of it which I always find a shame. Some people can't be trusted to keep their flashes off I guess!

    Back on the train where we headed to the city of Nara for more ancient temples! Nara was briefly the capital of Japan during the 12th century, and there's some important relics from that period still remaining. These are chiefly Buddhist and Shinto shrines (the two religions happily coexist in Japan as neither demands exclusivity from adherents), but also a palace and a primeval forest.

    Most tourists visit Nara for the famous Deer Park which is exactly what it sounds like, and happily for us, several of the WHS temples are located inside the deer park! So we wandered over after leaving our bags in a locker at the station. Lots of deer around and they're fairly chilled out, so you can buy wafers from local vendors and feed them and pet them which is pretty cool.

    Decided to focus on a few temples: Todai-ji, a large wooden building that houses the world's largest bronze Buddha statue (enormous!), Kofuku-ji which is a 7th century Buddhist temple that had been entirely dismantled and moved twice because the emperor liked it so much (!!), and Kasuga Grand Shrine which is famous for the huge number of stone lanterns outside and bronze lanterns inside. Seriously, there's thousands of them! Very pretty. And there was a wedding happening at the last temple too, which we enjoyed watching for a bit, especially when they were taking Very Serious family portraits and the bride's little niece and nephew refused to behave. Some things never change.

    Wandered back through the deer park in the late afternoon sun and joined the throngs of tourists heading to the station back to Kyoto. Found our guesthouse with no dramas (though it's in an odd spot, very residential) and had our bento boxes for dinner.
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    Most people don’t even know it’s possible to turn their flash off. Sigh. Dad

    Trish Forrester

    Not easy to move that statue!

    Trish Forrester

    Refreshing change from all those temples and pagodas...

  • Day557


    November 14, 2018 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Nara was the country’s capital before Kyoto and Tokyo and has some very good UNESCO sites. The most impressive was the giant Buddha housed in the world’s largest wooden structure, the Todai-ji temple. While we’d been here before, we’d forgotten just how enormous it is. We also visited the Kofuku-ji temple and pagoda and the bright orange Kasuga shrine, famous for its lanterns. While we saw lots of deer, we opted not to pet them. They seemed a bit aggressive and mangy to our eyes.
    On one of our days, we took a daytrip to Ohara, a small town outside of Kyoto. We made the trip just so we could eat lunch at a restaurant run by a farmer and his wife. Delicious, simply-prepared vegetables were excellent. The town was also wonderful and had an excellent temple and garden, Sanzen-In, that would have been worth the trip alone.
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    Marisa T

    Did you see that Travel & Leisure has Japan on the front cover as destination of the year? And they mentioned this restaurant in the article.

    Dobbs Away II

    That’s amazing! We learned about it from folks we met at the tempura restaurant.

    Rowena Singer

    I have to go back to that tempura restaurant—you and John has such great luck with meeting fellow travelers and discovering new places to eat at the counter!

    2 more comments
  • Day13

    Inari & Nara: Torii und Rehe

    April 22, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Heute ist mal wieder ein „freier“ Tag:
    Unser Programm startet mit Fushimi-Inari-taisha, dem Schrein der 1.000 Tore, der zu den ältesten Kyōtōs gehört. Die orange-roten Tore werden von Gläubigen in den Hoffnung auf gute Geschäfte gespendet, dicht an dicht stehen sie in einer scheinbaren endlosen Reihe über den gesamten Hügel verteilt. Langsam wandert man durch einen orangenen Tunnel, den die Sonne wunderschön zum Leuchten bringt. Obwohl wir relativ früh am Tag da sind, tummeln sich hier wieder Menschenmassen, immer auf der Suche nach dem besten Selfie oder dem besten Instagram-Motiv. Außerdem scheint der Schrein auch noch ein Muss für alle Schulausflüge zu sein, wir sind umringt von Teenagern. Trotzdem ist der Schrein ein schönes Highlight.
    Danach fahren wir mit dem Bummelzug weiter nach Nara, der ersten Hauptstadt Japans. Vom Bahnhof geht es schnurgerade zum Nara-Park, ein riesiges Areal, dass neben - Überraschung -Schreinen, Tempel und Pagode auch hunderte zahme Rehe beherbergt. Man kann eigens zur Rehfütterung gedachte Kekse kaufen, was die Tiere natürlich genau wissen. Und sie wissen auch, wie sie die Touristen süß anflirten müssen, um möglichst viele Kekse abzuräumen. Sonst wird auch gerne etwas aufdringlicher nachgeholfen. Wir klappern bei steigenden Temperaturen den Kofuku-ji mit Japans zweithöchster Pagode, den Tōdai-ji, der im weltweit größten Holzbau einen riesigen Buddha beherbergt und den Kasuga-taisha mit seinen unzähligen Laternen ab. Nara ist definitiv eine Reise auch mit dem Bummelzug wert!
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  • Day20


    October 16, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Nara fut la premiere capitale fixe du Japon, il y a très tres longtemps, en fait entre 710 et 784. Pourquoi fixe cherchez sur Wikipedia. Plein de temple, de Boudah et beaucoup beaucoup de cerfs qui cherchent à manger dans vos.poches. les seuls pickpocket japonais.Read more

  • Day74

    Nara et ses biches

    March 23, 2020 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    À deux pas de Kyoto, on nous avait fortement conseillé de passer par Nara. Et en effet, petite ville mais grosse impression ! Outre la mignonitude absolue de ces étangs, temples et quartiers, Nara est habitée 365 jours par an par les cerfs et biches sika ! Ces animaux, considérés par des messagers des dieux ne peuvent pas être chassés et sont donc en totale liberté dans l'immense parc et la ville ! Improbable de laisser traverser un cerf, de lui donner à manger ou de le voir poser en pleine ville devant un temple... Outre ces fabuleux animaux, Nara a de sublimes temples ainsi que le plus grand Bouddha japonais ! 18m de haut, des yeux d'un mètre de large, 250 tonnes à la pesée... Le mastodonte est abrité dans le Todai-ji, un temple lui-même entouré d'étangs tous plus zen et mignons les uns que les autres. Le jardin Yoshiki-en, son flower garden et sa tea house nous ont aussi fait quelque chose.
    On a adoré passer quelques jours à se promener dans le parc et les petites rues tranquilles de Nara. Un séjour court et des plus agréables !
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    Steve Marshall

    Pas vu de biche dans les photos ... rois et reines du camouflage peut-être!

    Emma et Basile

    On a finalement consacré un footprint entier aux biches, elles le méritent...


    magnifique !

  • Day12

    Noch ein Tag in Kyoto

    October 15, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Moin ihr Lieben, auch der heutige Tag war mal wieder prallgefüllt mit Sehenswürdigkeiten. Wir haben unsere Unterkunft um kurz vor neun verlassen und uns als erstes wie schon gestern ein Tagesticket für den Bus geholt. Dann ging's logischerweise als erstes mit dem Tempel weiter, bei dem wir gestern Abend abbrechen mussten - dem higashi-hongan-ji ganz in der Nähe des Bahnhofs. Die Haupthalle des Tempels zählt zu den größten Holzbauten der Welt. Als nächstes fuhren wir dann weiter in den Tempel sanjusangen-do, in dem 1001 goldlackierte Statuen um eine drei Meter hohe Zentralfigur mit elf Köpfen und vierzig Armen gruppiert sind. Natürlich darf man auch hier nicht im Tempel fotografieren. Fehlen durfte heute auch nicht der kiyomizu-dera, der "Tempel des reinen Wassers", eine der meistbesuchten Sehenswürdigkeiten Kyotos. Besonders schön - und leider auch anstrengend - ist die Lage des Tempels am Berghang. Aber der Aufstieg durch die Gassen mit Souvenirshops hat sich wirklich gelohnt
    Auf besonderen Wunsch von Alex haben wir uns dann noch den Rioan-ji angeschaut, einen Tempel mit einem Zen-Steingarten aus dem 15. Jahrhundert. Den Abschluss des Tempeltages bildete dann der Rokuon-ji mit der goldenen Pagode. Mit diesem zwar schönen aber auch hoffnungslos überlaufenen Tempel ging dann also unser zweitägiges Sightseeing Programm in Kyoto zu Ende. Danach haben wir uns am Abend noch eine einstündige Show im Gion-Corner gegeben. Morgen fahren wir zu unserem nächsten Ziel nach Nara.
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  • Day13


    October 16, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Einen wunderschönen guten Abend aus Nara. Heute sind wir den ganzen Tag durch diesen wunderbaren Touristenort gewandert. Schon die Hinfahrt war großartig - meine beiden jungen sportiven Mitreisenden haben sich im total überfüllten Zug noch einen Sitzplatz erkämpft und ich alter Mann musste ne Stunde stehen🙁. Nachdem wir das Gepäck im Hostel abgestellt haben sind wir losgezogen und haben einen schönen Garten, eine fünfstöckige Pagode, das größte Holz-Bauwerk der Welt samt dazugehörigen Buddha, einen Schrein mit tausenden Laternen und vieles mehr besichtigt. Zwischendrin immer wieder Alex Lieblingsbeschäftigung: Rehe füttern - sie hat unsere Reisekasse durch das wiederholte Kaufen von Rehkeksen geplündert. Inzwischen haben wir zu Abend gegessen und dabei auch gleich unser nächstes Reiseziel festgelegt - morgen fahren wir nach Kanazawa.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Nara-ken, Nara, 奈良県, 나라 현