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Saturday, September 13, 2008

"I have a rock garden. Last week three of them died." - Richard Diran


Japan trip
Day 8 - 13th June - Nara
(Part 2)

Nara street

Garden and memorial grove

Monk on fountain

Bento. I don't know why everything was wrapped in leaves.

"Don't piss the deer off"
Yes, just like Magdalen College in Oxford they have deer. However, the deer in Nara wander around a lot more freely than their British counterparts. I don't know how they keep them within the city's confines.


Chasing a guy with dog deer biscuits

Deer biscuit vendors are everywhere in Nara. It's a cartel - they all charge the same price (Y150) for the same pack of biscuits. Probably they all come from one company with a factory in China. Or maybe all the vendors are secretly Yakuza members and this is the most profitable racket in the prefecture.

Five-storied pagoda (Gojunoto), Kofukuji. It's the 2nd tallest in Japan - Kyoto's Toji is a few cm more.


Statues in Tokondo

Incense plug: "Enjoy Splendid Fragrance. Well-known incense sticks called 'YAKUSHIKOH', the scent of which you are enjoying here in the hall, are on sale at the office near the entrance"

Kofukuji panorama

Stuff in the corner

Five-storied pagoda (Gojunoto)

Schoolgirls and deer


"I Love Gaijin"
I wonder who started talking to who first. Another schoolgirl saw me taking this picture, and laughed.
nw.t: "doesn't really look like love
more like when you want to take a cool photo with some exotic creature
but are scared to get too close"

Deer in shade

Me and deer

Kohfukuji plaque (the official website says "Kohfukuji" but there're many more search results for "Kofukuji")

Yes, it was under renovation, like half of Japan. This, the Chukondo (Main Golden Hall) was very unimpressive and curiously ungolden.

"The Chu-kondo (Middle Golden Hall) has burned down on numerous occasions since its 710 construction. The present building is a “temporary” hail from 1819, and it is in such poor repair that it is closed to the public. (It is the building which served as the Nara Prefectural Office after the 1870s confiscation.) Its main image ofSakyamuni as well as a Yakushi image and four Shitenno have thus been placed in the building behind the Chu-kondo, a comparatively recent building which is only open to the public for a brief period in the spring and fail."
--- Nara: A Cultural Guide to Japan's Ancient Capital / John Martin, Phyllis G. Martin

Southern Octagonal Hall

Southern Octagonal Hall

"Don't toll a temple bell"

Steps down from Kofukuji

Another temple, and altar

World Heritage stone. They're so special. Other World Heritage sites in Japan have plaques. Nara has stones. Maybe it's so the deer don't eat them.

More deer. The deer in Nara seem to have blunted antlers. I doubt the monks go around dulling them, so it must be the breed (maybe in the distant past some monks got gruesomely gored, so the townsfolk feasted on venison while new deer were brought in)

Deer biskut vendor

Enjo Kosai negotiations in progress?
(Faces are obscured for privacy reasons)

NB: Enjo Kosai = 'compensated dating' - high school girls prostituting themselves to older jap men

Notice the guy poring over a map. They must be discussing which hotels are in the area. I hope he wasn't going for all 3 girls at once.

Himuro Shrine

Lazy Pussy

Shrine pond
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