Sunday 31 January 2016

Japan - Nara

Japan : Kyoto - May 2015

Continue from Himeji

Our next stop from Himeji was Nara.

Whenever I ask around "What's there to see in Nara?" The replies I got were "see the deers lor".

The Nara Park is just at JR Nara Station which is very accessible. It was a quite a long walk from the station plus it started to drizzle so we decided to take a bus there.

Biscuit for deer - 150 yen

I was watching and taking pictures of this little boy feeding the deer and he was SO NICE that he offered me a biscuit to feed the deer! I was extremely surprised by his small action and his big heart.

This little cute one kept chasing its own tail lol

We often saw groups of school children having a school excursion to temples, museums and shrines. What I love most is their coordinated school uniform, bags, caps and shoes. They are all so cute!

Till the end of the Nara Park is their famous temple and landmark of Nara - Todaiji Temple.

I overheard a tour guide saying that it was a good luck thingy to climb through the hole in the standing pole.

Todaiji Temple
Entrance fee: 500 yen
nearest JR: JR Nara Station

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Japan - Himeiji

Japan : Kyoto - May 2015

Today we were going to make full usage of our expensive JR pass by visiting nearby cities today~

Kyoto was our base camp so we were branching out to Himeji, Nara and Osaka today. It could not be so easy if we did not use this very useful website: Hyperdia which offers very extensive routes and timetable only in Japan.


Day 5

Of course, we could not visit fully in all 3 cities. Hence, we only chose those places that worth visiting or most famous for.

Himeji is most famous for its magnificent castle - Himeji Castle. The castle is designated both a national treasure and a UNESCO world heritage site. It can be reached in less than one hour from Kyoto.

We alighted at Himeji station and Himeji castle was just right straight in our vision. It may look near but it took us 20 minutes to walk up. We could have taken a bus up which takes 100yen per ride but I would suggest to just walk up so we could slowly enjoy the wind, see their infrastructure and do some shopping.

I bet it looks prettier during spring or autumn

These was already a long queue at 9am and I overheard that the queue was even more crazy the previous week - golden week in Japan. The crowd slowly oozed in the lower floor of the castle and climbed upwards through a series of steep, narrow staircases.

All I could remember was that we climbed and climbed in which each floor got progressively smaller. It makes sense seeing how the castle being constructed. There was nothing - no furniture - just wooden tiles and few signboards explaining what furniture were existed since long time ago. -.-"

I was very exhausted upon reaching the top level. Knowing that the only consolation was to see this view, my exhausted energy turned into confusion. We immediately exited the castle. Our confusion became anger for the 20 minutes return journey to the station.

It looks pretty on the outside but it has nothing inside. This has taught us a lesson for judging on the appearance.

Himeji Castle
Opening hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (until 18:00 from late April through August)
Entrance fee: 1000 yen (castle only)