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Published: June 29th 2018
We got up early this morning and managed to get down early to have a nice breakfast again. It meant we could get to the station and get on our way to NARA Which was our destination for the day. We found the ticket station easily and found the right platform but still managed to catch the wrong train. Luckily it was a local train that stopped at a station that connected with the right train. A quick dash and we basically caught the same train that we should have so all good.
Arrived at Nara and bought a local loop pass for the bus so we could get around easily. Arrived at the first stop and there were deer wandering around everywhere. It was quite amazing to see them all and how comfortable they were amongst people. Apparently it has been this way for hundreds of years.
We bought some "deer biscuits" and were basically assaulted when they realised that we had food, I had deer nibbling on my clothes trying to get some attention. I felt a little violated after one of them decided to get a little personal and had to show her my wedding band to get her to leave me alone.
After the "Bad Monkey" experience in Bali, I don't think Emily would have liked this experience.
We saw some amazing temples in Nara. Many hundreds of years old, massive wooden structures All made without a single nail and relying on the amazing joinery used to hold everything together.
It was at this time that the battery on my camera died. Lesson for the day: don’t believe it when your camera tells you your battery is full before heading out for the day!
We had a nice lunch there. Food everywhere is great. Light, filling, excellent quality. You can see why the Japanese are so trim. They love their food but eat in moderation. We shared a Chicken and rice for main and a mango ice cream for dessert. In the heat this was really enjoyed.
It is not unbearably hot here but, coming out of winter and not being used to it, the heat does get to you after a while. Luckily we bought a travel pass so we saved ourselves a bunch of walking which made life more bearable.
The final destination in Nara was very interesting. A traditional street with a number of shops and homes to look at. Some were set up where you could either go in and look around or do activities, such as calligraphy, for free. We wandered through a home to see how people used to live. I love the Japanese aesthetic. Beautiful sense of proportion, everything very elegant and simple at the same time.
At this time I think the heat was starting to get to us. We walked past a statue of the Indian God Ganesha which Pamela referred to as Ganash. I think she was hoping that it was the God of Chocolate!
We finished in Nara and then began the journey back to Osaka planning to rest before going out in the evening. However, executive decision was made to head straight to dotonburi to see the sights and have dinner in the area. Dotonburi is famous for its massive neon signs and a huge shopping precinct.
Were navigating the rail system like Osakans now. A quick reroute at a transit station and we were at Namba station before we knew it. We exited the subway and found ourselves in a suburb that appeared to be entirely under cover with shops as far as the eye could see.
we stopped for a coffee at a Starbucks which was good as I was able to rest for a while. The walking was starting to take its toll on my feet at this stage and it had also started to rain so the timing was good.
After wandering around for a while we found a street that was full of restaurants. I wanted to go into the one that had a massive puffer fish hanging over the entrance but Pamela wanted me to wait until Kyoto when there would be doctors around - just in case. We ended up going in to a little place where we had a fantastic meal for just a few dollars.
As we were wandering around, we saw a sign for "Pirates of Osaka". Turns out our "Amazing Osaka" pass got us on here as well so we went on at 20-minute cruise in the canal. We got a great view of the signs and just enjoyed the leisurely cruise. A very pleasant way to conclude the day.
Today's random thought: Something that I noticed is that watermelons are very expensive. About $100 each which was strange. Fish, on the other hand, is very cheap compared to home. I guess I'll be eating fish and not watermelon this trip!
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