by - September 10, 2017

I've been trying to put this off for a while, because our third day in Japan has got to be one of the most tiring and busiest trip of ours. This will also be quite a lengthy post, so I hope you are up for that! >_< 

For our day 3, we decided to do the semi-impossible, which was do a Nara and Kyoto trip in just one day! Now, this isn't really recommended by tour guides or even by the JTB guy we asked at Kansai, Osaka airport. He said that you need at least one day per location. But since we only had 7 days for our whole Japan trip, we had to make it possible! So, with my mom's faith in my itinerary, we headed to Nara and Kyoto! ^_^

Nara is only 30 minutes away from our station Osaka Namba, so we headed there first. :)

One of the highlights of Nara is Nara Park, where there are free roaming deers. In Japan local folklore, deers here were once considered divine/sacred due to a visit from a god named Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto and killing one before would be punishable by death. Now, they no longer have the 'divine/sacred' title, but are considered national treasures of Japan. :)

We got to Nara via train and once we got down Kintetsu Nara Station, we walked for 15 minutes to get to Nara Park. Now, we didn't know that there was actually a city bus that can take you to the park or parts of Nara, so please do refer >>HERE<< if you want to know more about transportations there. :) But if you're into walking, it's also good for you! Exercise! =P

As soon as we got there, these were already in plain sight...

Naturally, I got super giddy! This was on my bucket list for a long time and just seeing a deer up close and being able to touch them was a dream! ♥ :) They're absolutely beautiful creatures! Best part, we got to feed them too! They have deer crackers being sold there and you should only feed them this. It's 150 Yen per pack... around Php 68 when converted. 

Before going to Nara Park, I researched online that if you raise the cracker above the deer's head, they will bow down to you. You can do this about three times. :)

DEER to ME: Food?? ME: Ha? ubos na bes!

My mom feeding the deers! Cute!

Just a tip, the deers are quite friendly, but can get very aggressive if they see you with food. They would go as far as eating your map, bag or clothes! Haha! >_< I even experienced (you can watch a short video on my IG) having to sprint walk cos they were already chasing me! HELP! =P

After bonding with our "deer friends" - pun intended! We headed to Nara National Museum cos we happened to pass by it by accident. :)

Deers are free roaming, so you can spot them almost anywhere! Even outside the museum!

There was a special exhibition when we went to the museum, so the fee was 1,500 Yen. I think it would be less if there was no special exhibition. If you aren't into buddhas, I don't recommend you go here cos everything was just about buddha/reincarnation and for the price, it was expensive. Disclaimer - not dissing any religion just stating facts of what we saw there! My Lola's religion is Buddhism, so I respect that. :) Since we weren't allowed to take photos, this was my only snap!

When we ended our museum visit, we were told by one of my Mom's good friend that we can't leave Nara without going to the famous Todai-Ji Temple. So, we made our way there! Again, we walked and it took us around 18 minutes to get there. :) Walkathon!

It's absolutely tiring to walk that long, so before entering the temple, we had a watermelon break!

This is the facade before the actual Todai-Ji Temple. It's the Nandaimon Gate and has two Nio Guardian Kings. Just look at the stunning architecture! All wood, but still in great condition! :)

One of the Nio Guardian Kings. :)

For the actual temple, we had to pay 500 Yen or Php 225 per person, if I remember correctly? 

The Todai-Ji Temple a.k.a Great Eastern Temple is one of Japan's most famous temples and a landmark of Nara. It was constructed way back in 752! Imagine how long ago was that!

My Lola is a big Buddha believer, so she would never let this pass. So, the photo above is us paying our respects. :)

This is the main hall of Todai-Ji Temple, the Daibutsuden a.k.a. Big Buddha Hall. The bronze buddha housed here is one of Japan's biggest at 15 meters tall!

This is how minuscule I am compared to the Daibutsu

Todai-Ji Temple has other areas that you can explore, but since we were pressed for time, we just went to Daibutsuden Hall. :) They open as early as 8:00AM and close around 4:30PM. 

Like I said, we were rushing, because we needed to head straight for Kyoto to reach Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine while there was still daylight.

It was already 4:30 when we caught our train bound for Kyoto. Sunset in Japan was usually around 6:30PM during our stay there, so pressure! >_<

When we got to Kyoto, we made another transfer for Inari Station and once we got there, we walked for 5 minutes to reach the Shrine itself. This was our view while walking...

Buwis buhay lang po at Inari Station! Haha! For the record, there were no trains there when this was taken :)

Fushimi Inari Shrine is located at the southern part of Kyoto. It's famous for their thousands of red Torii Gates.

Another check on my bucket list!♥♥♥

There were quite a few people taking pictures and obviously, you wouldn't want anyone photobombing behind you. That ruins that whole aesthetic of the place, so my tip is climb! Climb to the very end or middle part cos there will be likely less people. :) Or just have plenty of patience!

The shrine is always open and admission is FREE. :) It may be open 24 hours, but of course always best in day light cos of the amazing structures.

After trekking at Fushimi Inari Shrine, my Mom was still in high hopes that we could make it to Arashiyama's Bamboo Grove. But I told her that it's impossible cos it would take us at least an hour to get there and it would be night fall by the time we arrive. But my mom has been a trooper and an optimistic one throughout this trip and said we should still try! So we did!

From Inari Station, we had to go to Hankyu Station to ride the train going to Arashiyama cos there is no direct train going there from Inari Station. They're totally different since it is at the Western part of Kyoto. From south to west! Whew! But we spotted this nice view while walking to the station, so photo! ^_^

And yes, like I predicted, it was night time when we got to Arashiyama and it was too dark to even see the Bamboos at the grove. It was a bit sad, but we did stumble upon this... 

Just when I thought our journey here would be pointless, we see a light at the end of the tunnel and that's the Kimono Forest of Arashiyama. :) Though we weren't able to see the bamboo forest, we had another kind of forest to feast our eyes on and I was already thankful for this! Our trip to Arashiyama was still worth it! :)

The artist of this is Yasumichi Morita and each pillar has pieces of textile display dyed in Kyo-yuzen (technique of painting dye) style. There are about 600 pillars displayed at Randen Tram Station.

Finally, after our tiring day, we headed back to the Hankyu Station area and have dinner!

We got back to Hankyu Station around 10:00PM already and night life in Japan ends pretty early for people who just want to dine in without drinking alcohol. Most of the restaurants there closed as early as 8:00PM. So, we had no choice but to dine in a place that was open and by this time we were just so exhausted and hungry and saw this Korean restaurant open. Korean in Japan moment! >_< Haha! The food was super good! My apologies that I can't remember the name of the restaurant. :( They had no english menu, so it was hard for us to converse, but thankfully we had a super nice waitress. :)

The night almost ended in a bad turn for us when we realized that the trains were only operating until 11:20 PM! >_< Aaaaaahhhhh!!! We were still in the restaurant at 11:15. We had to make a dash for it and so thankful that one of the train staffs radioed in another staff at the tracks to wait for us to get in the last train. If not for them, we wouldn't have made it to Osaka! Kyoto to Osaka via taxi is no joke! Our bill would have been around 17, 154 Yen or Php 7,000+! That's as good as taking a bullet train! So, I'm really glad that we met such nice people in Japan. :) Only good praises!

So, that ends my Day 3! Only Day 4 to 7 left! :) In case you want to read my Japan trip Day 1 to 2, you can see it here: :)

I'm really enjoying blogging about this trip! It's not every day that I get to blog something personal, so hope you, guys like this too!♥

Artsy Ava

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  1. Ganda ng mga photos! :) Ang saya rin ng bonding niyo ng Lola and Mom mo.

    1. Aww thank you, Ysh! ^_^ It was indeed a fun and memorable trip!

  2. That Kimono Forest is so kawaii! Is it a permanent installation there?

    1. Sorry I'm not sure if it's a permanent one. But I believe it has been there for as long as July? :)


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