From Osaka it took us a little over an hour to get to Tsutsui station.
We bought this one day pass (1650 yen), it let us ride the Osaka subway as well as Kintetsu trains and buses.
NOTES: from different areas and train lines the price is a little different.
The pass also gets you some discounts into temples.
From Tsutsui, it was about half an hour by bus to Horyuji, which has "the world's oldest surviving wooden structures" dating back to 1,300 years ago.
The place was huge!
We also visited Daihozoin which is on the same property and housed many national treasures.
Next to Horyuji is Chuguji.
It was believed that Horyuji was originally built as a monastery while Chuguji was built as a nunnery.
It was amazing to see all the different sculptures and artifacts.
Then about 20 minutes away on foot, was Hokiji, one of seven Buddhist institutions that Prince Shotoku helped establish.
We thought we might be able to grab some lunch, but there wasn't much where we were, so we headed back to Tsutsui and pickings were even slimmer.
Thank goodness for "emergency food" (a.k.a. snacks) that I had packed...
We then caught the train to Nishinokyo.
From the train station, it was about 10 minutes to Toshodaiji.
Most places didn't allow photographs of the sculptures or artifacts, so I was taking more photos of the scenery...like this moss covered area at the entrance of Ganjin Wajo's tomb....
One thing you should know is that most temples close at 17:00, so you need to get in by 16:30, if you want to visit.
Since Satoshi wanted to visit another temple in the area, Yakushiji, he ran back, while I leisurely walked over and waited for him outside.
While I walked over, I was intrigued by the roots of the trees and how the soil around it was eroding but the trees seemed to stay upright because it looked like they had weaved their roots together.
Dinner was kaiseki style and since we didn't really have lunch, I ate everything (and surprised Satoshi)!
Usually when we have kaiseki, I get full mid-way and end up giving the rest to Satoshi...
It was a full day...lots of walking and lots of sights.