Tuesday, March 18
Today I went back to the Kyoto Station but took the JR Nara line further out to the city of Nara, a former capital of Japan. Nara is famous for its herds of deer that roam the large park area freely and are fed by visitors. Nara is a very assessable city to tourists and has a smaller, quainter atmosphere than the big cities. It’s a good place to go if you’re looking... Read Full Entry
Statue GuardiansThe entrance gate housed paired statues on either side. One set were stone lions and the other large, fearsome bodhisattvas (barely visible in the shadow to the right).
A Call for CompassionBuddhist temple areas also function as wildlife sanctuaries as hunting is prohibited. I think this tradition arose out of Buddhist ethics of compassion for all living things. However, this deer got hissed at by a tour guide and retreats to other grounds. Temples like this are places where religious pilgrimage crosses paths with commercial interest and national identity, making for some interesting juxtapositions.