Land of the Rising Sun #7: Making ‘deer’ friends in Nara

Me chilling with a buddy while taking a quick break.

Alejandro Silva Rodelo

Me chilling with a buddy while taking a quick break.

Alejandro Silva Rodelo, Staff Writer

On Day 7,  we walked around the 1000 Shrine Hill,visited the deer populated Nara Park, and headed over to Osaka where we enjoyed a delicious dinner over the canals.

It was an early rise today.  We woke up to eat breakfast and had to be ready by 7:45 a.m. to go to the Hill of 1000 Shrines in Fushimi, Kyoto. Luckily we got there before all the school groups started piling in. The shrine is a place of respect as a church would be for Christians, so it was peaceful to be in a mountain full of trees and have time to reflect. As we were making our trek back down, we encountered an actual service/ceremony being executed by a Shinto priest. All the people in the crowded area gathered up to witness, but thankfully our tour group was on its way out.

We then headed next to the Todaiji Temple where we saw a great Buddah statue, and honestly a picture can not show the unfathomable size of the statue. After we walked around the Buddha, it was time to play with the deer in Nara. The little guys were so aggressive and would get jealous if you were feeding their buddies and not them. The deer are wild and roam freely, so you do have to be careful not to agitate them. Another reason not to agitate them is because the deer are sacred in Nara and the locals will be bothered if you agitate them on purpose.

We reached Osaka, it was only a one hour drive from Nara, but everyone was so tired that another traveler captured a picture of everyone snoozing. We reached the Dotonbori Canal, a canal famous for having the best food and a lot of shops on the strip itself. We tried some food there, notably ramen (as per my older brother’s request) and truly it was the best I’ve had on this trip. I encountered an Adidas store and of course it was expected that I go in and check to see if they have soccer gear, which they did and I ended up buying the current Japan jersey and buying my little brother the jacket itself. After we went to check in the hotel and after a quick rest stop, Hiro took us to another food district where we could get dinner. The group of friends decided to split up and get what each one was craving and then we decided to quickly get back to the hotel for some more rest as we near the second to last day here.

Tomorrow we visit Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial as we get to learn about the devastation that was left from World War II.