Nippon Trip: Nara

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Michele Moricci

NARA is the city of deers and it’s perfect for nature lovers. We reached the city in less than an hour and shortly after our arrival, we spot deers freely walking in the city. Deers are considered Gods’ messengers, that’s why people respect them thoughtfully. Entering the park we find many of them. National Geographic count a deer population of about 1,000 and we are looking forward to cherish and feed them with typical wafers of which they are fond.

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We try to feed our loving friends that – however – greedy move from one to the other tourist poking in backpacks, pockets and chasing anyone with something edible. Even the sheets are fine if there is anything else! They approach meek with their big eyes and lick their chops in hopes of eating. The little ones are very tender, but it will not take long for you to notice one of the big signs for tourists which advise to be cautious because – even if similar to Bambi – the adult deers can be very aggressive.

The city retains the charm of a small town in the suburbs. Shops along the main street, a few café, and many people who carry out their lives peacefully in the company of nature and animals. No noise that disturbs the relaxation that hovers along the path that leads us to the famous Todai-ji Temple where is preserved a huge and colossal statue of Buddha – tall about fourteen feet. As usual, in front of so much majesty we remain fascinated by Japanese culture so strict and conservative in his past and extremely modern and consumerist today.

We stop at a bench surrounded by trees, the cicadas still sing uninterrupted, some deer in this area rests at the foot of a tree and we have green tea and vanilla Dorayaki. The fresh ice cream melts between the two fluffy pancakes and their flavor is delicious.

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Retracing our steps, we stop at a pond overlooked by trees and houses. It is full of people, walking moms while the children watch the big carps that swim in it. Not far from the square, there is a small neighborhood of small houses made ​​of wood. It looks immaculate from the era when they were built. We are amazed and continue to walk the short route while the sun plays with the shadows between the houses.

It’s almost 5 pm and ​​we get going to take the train that ride us back to Ōsaka but before, we look up and we can not help but notice – again – the usual blanket of Japanese electrical wires that go from one house to another and that silhouetted against the blue sky.

NEXT STOP > KOYASAN


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Michele Moricci