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Nara Japan

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.

Deer Video

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