Nara Park and Todaiji Temple Daytrip

Nara is known for its shrines and temples just like Kyoto . The temple we were visiting today called Todaiji is located in Nara Park ( Nara Koen)  and is known for the 53-foot Buddha statue inside it. Nara is not that far from Osaka. It’s about 40 minutes by train and I remember standing the entire trip.
We were having lunch with my wife’s friend near Nara Park and had a couple of hours to tour around Todaiji Temple. The park is within walking distance from the station and it was a hot morning  but there were already a lot of tourists .
As we got closer to the park I started seeing more and more tame deer. Hundreds of them free to roam wherever they please.It was amazing to see for a lifelong city dweller like me. It was also hilarious to see some young tourists struggling to get a good selfie with some of these deer and to see some of them being stalked by these creatures for biscuits sold for 150 Yen everywhere around the park. 
Deer waiting for biscuits at Nara Koen
As we approached the Great South Gate called the Nandaimon it got more and crowded as it seemed everyone wanted to step through the gates instead of going around it. I remembered the steps up to the actual gateway to be very steep and my wife told me to go through the gate but not to step on it. I read it was built in the 12th century and up close it did look really ancient.
Great South Gate called Nandaimon 

There were hundreds of tourists arriving via busloads but I never felt it got close to crowded being that Nara Koen is so vast . The tourists do get funneled in through the main entrance at the Main South Gate and the foot traffic was made worse by souvenir shoppers and the deer feeding frenzy. Navigating through the crowds I can see countless selfie sticks and tourist guide flags raised up in the air while on the ground there were surprisingly very few deer poop to avoid. I saw some Rickshaw at the parking lot but never did see one occupied by tourists.

Anyway, I couldn’t wait to see the giant Buddha but first I had to feed some deer.

Souvenir shops lining street towards Nandaimon


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