The first capital of Nippon.

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Many months ago we run across cheap tickets to Japan and without much thinking we booked the flights. Only later have we realized that we are going to spend 1.5 weeks in the area, which is not so close to the equator any more. At the end of January we packed our ridiculous winter jackets and off we went to a lifetime adventure!

Kansai Airport, the one close to Osaka, is only a 6 hours long flight from Singapore. From there we went straight to Nara, where an annual fire festival was taking place that same evening! More about that in the next post.

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Nara was the first capital of Japan for only 74 years, before it was moved to Kyoto. This short period of time was, however, enough to turn a sleepy village into a significant spot on a cultural and architectural map of Japan. Among temples and shrines, which together are part of UNESCO Heritage Site, the Eastern Great Temple is definitely the most impressive. So called Tōdai-ji is a temple complex and one of the biggest wooden structures in the world. Its Great Buddha Hall houses the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha.

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The columns in the Hall are massive! One of them has a hole at the bottom. Whoever manages to squeeze through will leave the temple with a lot of luck. The spot seem to be extremely popular among students, who line up in long queues to face the challenge. The smart ones start with the arms up and have their friends to pull them out- lets say it works as well ;)

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In stead of real donations, one can buy a real roof tile, sign it and become a part of the temple for another few years.

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The Great Hall, just like all the other historical places, were always full of Japanese school trips. DSC_0140cIMG_2395IMG_2147IMG_2396

Nara was the coldest places of all we have visited. The monks in this particular monastery were kind enough to offer hot free tea in a warm and cosy room to weary travelers and local worshippers.

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6 thoughts on “The first capital of Nippon.

    • If I have tried I’d probably still be stuck there asking you to send me some food to the temple;) I would have been a new attraction of the place- a living column ;) But seriously- only the tiniest Japanese students were able to squeeze through.

  1. Hahaha, I wouldn’t send you no food Darling, because it wouln’t help you at all :DDD Well, little Japanese are lucky, they’re so petites! :)

    • And then one day, while visiting Japan, you will come across a peculiar skeleton stuck in a column. After a few minutes of wondering how stupid this person must have been, you would recall an old friend, who used to count on your help until she dried like a raisin ;)

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