We woke early the next day as Satoshi had a lot he wanted to see.
Breakfast was chagayu (a rice porridge that is cooked in tea). We have the same type of dish in Hawaii except my grandma used to call it "chagai".
Our first stop was Kofukuji. While walking to the temple, we ran across these two male deer fighting/playing. If you click on the photo, I hope you'll be able to view the short video I shot.
While we were at Kofukuji, we visited the Eastern Golden Hall and the National Treasure Hall.
NOTE: the National Treasure Hall will be closed for all of 2017 to strengthen the building against earthquakes .
I'm glad we were able to see the artifacts housed in the National Treasure Hall.
It was nice seeing the jizo statues being "dressed" for winter.
Down the street from Kofukuji is Gangoji, a temple which was apparently the first full scale Buddhist temple to be built in Japan.
The structures on the property are not the originals, most were destroyed in fires.
While Satoshi looked at the artifacts in the hall, I had some quiet time in this walkway lined with jizo statues.
This temple is where I purchased some Juppuku tea (10 fortune tea).
If I understood the writing on the package correctly, 10 temples in Nara each have a different Jizo statue which each have different good luck wishes such as "having enough to eat", "taking away sickness", "having wisdom" to name just a few.
(We tried some of this tea on New Years Day and enjoyed it. I think if I come across this tea again, I will pick up some more.)
We then made our way to our hotel...
On our way though, we noticed a long line outside a shop.
Since it was close to lunch time, we decided to go into the shop next to the one with the long line...Kana Kana.
We both ordered the Kana Kana Gohan Plate...oyster cream croquette, carrot shiroae, daikon and greens, azuki kanten, korean nori rice, simmered konnyaku and some coffee afterwards.
The place was quite cozy and felt like we were in someone's home.
We wouldn't mind coming back to try other items on their menu as well as checking out the shop next door too.
It was nice walking through the Naramachi area with their preserved buildings.
We dropped off our bags at the hotel we would be staying at and then walked through Nara Park to Kasuga Taisha.
Along the way, we came across the "famous" deer of Nara.
It's all about the deer senbei (wafers) for these guys...
Just be careful, some get krazy...up on hind legs fighting each other for the senbei in your hand, some nudge/butt/bite/lick you...anything for that wafer...
I overheard a rickshaw driver tell his riders that the roads are colored differently to warn cars to slow down for deer.
We actually saw a couple of deer cross and cars having to stop suddenly...talk about "hold your breath" moment, eep!
Kasuga Taisha is a huge Shinto shrine, they have many lanterns that were donated by worshippers.
It was amazing to see so many!
Next to Kasuga Taisha are a couple more temples, and then we made our way down to Todaiji to see the Daibutsu (Great Buddha).
This is where we bought some deer senbei and they all zoomed in on us...
Satoshi had the most of the senbei so they were mostly following him.
His jacket got all the deer "kisses".
I was wondering why they were following him so closely...he had put the senbei into his jacket pocket...lolo (crazy)...
The young male deers with antlers were quite scary...I was afraid someone would get stabbed...still, we had lots of fun.
It had been many years since I've visited Todaiji, to see this Daibutsu will have you walking around with your mouth open and looking up in awe of it...it is really huge!
Afterwards, we were feeling a bit hungry so stopped into Tenpyoan for something sweet...
Never have we had bad service such as what we encountered at this shop.
First off, we waited for half hour for our order, only to see it being served to customers that came in AFTER we did...
And then instead of apologizing for the mix up, the waitress tried to cover up her mistake by ordering our food...STAT...
Still hungry (and a bit upset)...we walked back towards our hotel and checked out a cafe I had seen earlier...Kuuki Cake.
I had their matcha kuuki cake.
while Satoshi had their marron version.
Kuuki in Japanese means "air"...talk about light and fluffy! Definitely like eating air.
Dinner was again kaiseki style, not as big as the meal we had the previous night, but just right.
Another full day of walking, sight seeing and eating. The weather was fair but the wind was icy.
Hotel Wellness Asukaji