Nara prefecture

Nara prefecture wasn't too far off from the central city of Osaka (It took about a thirty minute train ride). It was surprisingly cold on that day so I had on my windbreaker and hoodie, but it still felt a bit chilly. I had arrived at Nara pretty early in the morning so I didn't see any tourists except for a few photographers who seemed like locals. What is special about Nara is that it is famous for its deer. Even though it was morning time there were deer walking about the sidewalk and a few of them were grazing on the grassy areas. Some of them were in some of the most random places as well. There were local salespeople who were selling some kind of deer friendly biscuits, but it was a bit too early for anyone to be buying anything. Later during the daytime, when the tourists started to amass the deer would start to gather around the populated areas because they were looking for an opportunity to grab a snack. The male deer were particularly aggressive where they would poke you with their antlers, demanding food. If you did give then anything to eat they would follow you for a good hundred meters. At first the deer were quite fascinating, but the magic soon wore off when they started to herd around you. They kind of reminded me of the pigeons that you would see around the city.

As you make your way up from the train station there is the Kofukuji temple which is one of the tourist destinations around this area. Unfortunately it was under construction so I had to take some pictures of the structures that were surrounding the temple locations. At this point during my trip in Osaka, I was pretty tired of seeing temples so I didn't spend too much time around this area. I made my way through some nice forested areas and a few open areas that were littered with deer. I was able to take some nice shots of the environment and then I made my way to Todaiji temple. 

Todaiji temple was a really breathtaking experience because of the sheer size of the structure. It is a humongous structure and once you get past the ticketing you are presented with an immaculate view of the temple. There is a large Buddha statue located inside the structure, but I had seen a fair number of large Buddha statues so it didn't garner much interest in me. The exterior of the structure though was something to marvel at, considering that this was a historical relic as well. 

After passing by the temple there was one more temple that I had visited and it was called Kasuga Taisha. It was not much different to the many temples that I had visited around Kyoto, but the forest path leading to the temple is an interesting experience. I could see where the visual inspiration for the Ghibli film "Spirited Away" came from. 

My experience in Nara took about half a day, from morning until early afternoon. If you have time remaining in Osaka and you want to make a quick trip somewhere, I would recommend this area.