Day 7 | Echizen - Nara

We will travel light for the next two days. We have sent our luggage to Karuizawa via the hotel in advance of our trip. Practical and cheap. Fingers crossed that everything will turn out well. State of the suitcase: half of it is now filled with “Japan - Mokuhanga stuff”. Vladimir has the same problem and has the idea of ‘unloading’ some clothes in order to have more space.

Two buses are chartered for us. The leader of our bus is Tuula. The programme for the next two days is sent out at the last minute, which is not that efficient in terms of organisation and especially communication.

On the way to Nara, two tightly timed stops. Exactly seven minutes before we have to return in to the bus, the slightly stressed bus driver and his assistant look at me - I was still enjoying the sun - so I suppose I better get back on the bus. I sit down obediently. Everyone is counted twice. Two Australian women are still outside eating their ice cream in peace. But they soon realise that the time shown when we left the bus means departure and NOT boarding.

And off we go.

We arrive in Nara at about 13h30 in the afternoon. Tuula takes us to our hotel. The check-in goes smoothly and everyone flocks out into the city.

Vladimir and I visit the National Museum. Surprisingly, we are very impressed by the Buddha Exhibit displayed.

Vladimir taking a picture of a huge statue
angry looking statue
vieuw on trees from the inside of the museum

The crowd of tourists outside seems to have died down by the time we leave the museum at around 5pm. People are still taking selfies with the (apparently) aggressive deer.

warning sign about the deer

We have a leisurely stroll to the largest Buddha statue. Fifteen minutes before closing time, we buy a ticket anyway. While we are in the mood for Buddha…

View on the big budda

We are surprised by what we see for the second time today. I hear Vladimir sigh with admiration. In fact, it’s true, what we are looking at is almost inhuman. Including the lotus flower on which it is sitting, this statue is up to 14 metres high.

The temple is emptying out and we are one of the last to leave the temple. We are, of course, shown the way out by the uniformed attendants with their red illuminated matraks.

Vladimir overlooks the site

If no one walks here, the place must be magnificent. Now it is very beautiful.

We walk on, on the hill, climb higher. Most of the time alone. The crowds have vanished. How quiet it is. We don’t even hear the chirping of the traffic lights any more. We start whispering.

temple in the evening
vieuw on nara from mountain

A lot of wows and a lot of photos later, we are on our way back to the city and on the way to get some food. We long to eat a lot of vegetables. Getting an apple and some more fruit is on my wish list for tomorrow!

For the umpteenth time we have a very good meal. There were lots of plates on our table. Even French fries!

How delicious.

plate with french fries