Japan Diaries: Day 16 and 17

Day 16: January 3, 2015

Good morning Japan! We woke up to the aroma of Mr. Toshi's home cooked yakisoba. After the hearty meal Mr. Toshi told us that we would go to Nara Prefecture and that we must prepare immediately. (Lucky for us we got used to surprise plans like this already.)
Nara here we come!
The welcome to Nara Prefecture sign!
After just a few minutes of packing up our stuffs, we were ready to go. The trip was smooth and fast as expected. We only had a few stops for toilet and coffee breaks before reaching our destination. However, we forgot to note that today was the last day of the Japanese religious activity of visiting temples after New Year. Hence when we got to Nara Prefecture we had a hard time looking for parking space. It took us almost half an hour  before we found a place to park our car.
One of the deer at Nara Park
My wife posing with one of the deer
Our first destination was Nara Park. It is popularly known because of the hundreds of Sika deer roaming freely in the park's vicinity (they are not afraid to approach humans). We enjoyed taking pictures with these docile animals and also got the chance to feed them with some shika senbei crackers or deer crackers. 

The gigantic gate leading to Todaiji (Temple)
Todai-ji (Temple)
The giant image of Buddha in the temple
We then headed off to the nearby Todai-ji (Temple). It was truly an awesome sight to behold. The temple is one of the designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the country. It is also the largest wooden structure to date and not to mention it houses the largest bronze statue of Buddha in the country. Also inside the temple is a pillar with a small hole at the base that was said to be as big as the hole of the giant Buddha's nose. There is a belief that anyone who crawls and goes through the hole will be lucky in life. He will also be blessed with enlightenment once he is gone from this world. So did I successfully crawl through you might ask? Of course I did and I got a picture to prove that. (Hehe I'm still fit after all.)
Go Ella!
Hahaha I got some evidence of my fitness. LOL
Time flies so fast when you're enjoying because when we left the temple, the sun was already setting. We did a little souvenir shopping before going home.
Souvenir before going home!

Overall, our trip to Nara Prefecture is another memorable experience that is worth writing about. Given a chance, I would revisit the prefecture and check out the other UNESCO Heritage Sites that I missed visiting.

Day 17: January 4, 2015
Good morning Japan! Despite having a beautiful weather today, we spent the whole day preparing for our flight tomorrow which is our 3-day adventure in Chiba and Tokyo Prefecture.

So what's in Chiba Prefecture you might ask? That's where you'd find Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Confusing right? (It wouldn't sound appealing if it's called Chiba Disneyland anyways.)
My excitement made me Google this map

I was so excited about the trip that I had a hard time sleeping that night. (It's going to be my first time to see Mickey Mouse in person that's why.) Well I got to sleep anyways and believe me, I did so by counting Mickeys.

NEXT: Japan Diaries: Day 18


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