Fending off Deer
Sunday, February 24, 2008
The Great bronze Buddha which is a 53 feet tall.
We had no unplanned tasks to complete this morning all we had to do was find a
place to eat breakfast.
We found a Starbucks were we drank the same coffee we get
at home, ate the same bagels, and added our very own Vegemite thanks to our
generous friend Andy who had left us his personal supply. We used our ever
growing knowledge of the Japanese clockwork rail system and were soon on our
way out of Kyoto headed for Nara. Nara was the very first capital city of
Japan, the starting location of the Silk Road, and the first place Buddhism
arrived in Japan in AD 710.
Here is a shot of "Julio" and Eriko.
What a beautiful place it is to this very day. The
woman in the information center at Nara recommended we use a free student
guide that she informed us with great pleasure and reminded us it was free.
We met Eriko at the designated location and headed out on our excursion
armed with a local guide.
From Julia: What we could gather from Eriko is, she"d
been studying English for two years at University. However, she wasn"t able
to say much to us about anything and we weren"t sure if she understood
anything we said to her. Still, it was great to have someone take us around
and not to have to worry about map reading. And she got us to a delicious
noodle place for lunch that helped reheat us in the freezing cold.
Here is a shot of a man just after having his bum
bitten by a not so cute deer.
Within the temple complex there are thousands of tame
deer, supposed messengers to the gods. You can buy cookies for the deer and
feed them. In fact, the deer seem to congregate around the cookie selling
spots. At first you think how lovely, sweet, furry, and friendly they are.
Then you feed them. As David said "deer feeding is more like a shark feeding
frenzy". Deer attack you from all sides, butting and biting, and coming at
you in ravenous packs.
Another strange phenomenon is that despite thousands of
cookie eating deer there seemed to be no deer poop. Then the penny dropped,
and we realized that the group of chanting people with dustpans and brushes
we"d seen earlier on our way to the temple were the sacred poop-scoopers.
Pity we didn"t take a picture of them to show you.