kansai trip day 2 part 1

Posted on Dec. 10, 2010 by geoffropuff

after a good night of rest, mickie and i headed out to nara by shinkansen (bullet train).  i’m a fan of the shinkansen because it’s fast, smooth, and has a nice view but my favorite part of this shinkansen trip was my throwback breakfast.  for all of your north high school alums, i present to you my japanese shinkansen bagel and a hashbrown.

bagel and hashbrown

i know, i know, no ketchup. they didn't have any.

nara is known for having shika (deer) and a big Buddha.  nara is so famous for these things that when the city held a contest to decide their mascot, the winning entry was a baby buddha with deer antlers named sento-kun.    i had dreams of frolicking through fields with buddha on my left and bambi on my right, hand-in-hoof-in-hand.  boy was i wrong.  more on that soon.

mickie and i with sento-kun

sento-kun was trying to sneakily jack mickie's train pass straight from her hand.

upon arriving in nara, i was quickly able to see that it was a tourist destination featuring the aforementioned iconic attractions.  vendors lined the streets, selling deer-themed memorabilia, buddha-shaped trinkets, and other assorted items like “omamori” which you can buy to protect you or give you luck in various aspects of your life (safety in child-birth, luck for exams, etc.).

nara booth mickie

she was showing me a shika-themed domo-kun.

nara booth snoopy

even snoopy gets shika-fied.

besides the vendors, deer freely roamed the streets.  there were parks and other nature-filled areas but the deer really wandered wherever they wanted: sidewalks, random patches of grass, walkways, on the steps leading up to the shrine, or INTO STORES!

it’s hard to be mad at them, though.  they were so cute.  the deer would walk up to people on the path, nuzzle up to their legs, look up at them affectionately, and then BITE THEM UNTIL THEY GAVE UP SOME FOOD!

nara deer caution sign

i was so engaged in taking a funny picture that i didn't actually realize the sign was meant to warn people like me.

i was one such victim, happily trying to feed the deer “deer senbei.”  as soon as i paid my money and received the little bunch of discs, a large group of deer began to follow me.  i thought this was endearing for all of five seconds until i felt a small nip on my butt.  thinking it was my imagination,  continued to believe in my illusion that I was prancing with my forest friends, while trying to open the deer senbei package.  all of a sudden, i felt a barrage of nips and bites from every which direction.  my backpack was pulled, my shirt was yanked, my shorts were drooled on, and my pride was broken.  the assault continued until my hands were empty, at which time the deer pretended like i no longer existed.

those deer really are aggressive when it comes to getting food but, fortunately, they were very tame and even posed for pictures when food wasn’t part of the equation.

nara mickie and i with deer

our hands smelled like deer for the rest of the day.

actually, even with food, they treated mickie much nicer than me.  i wonder if my beard intimidated them.

nara mickie feeding deer

it must have been the beard. i mean, they weren't intimidated by mickie's moustache...

shika-senbei wasn’t the only thing they ate tho.

aside from being assaulted by wildlife, mickie and i toured one of the bigger temples in nara.  it wasn’t nearly as interesting as the deer so i’ll just leave you with a few pictures.

nara temple mickie

the rainy day made for gloomy pictures.

nara mickie incense

what is her left hand doing?

nara buddha high five

HIGH FIVE!

nara temple roof donation

we bought a roof tile to donate toward the maintenance of the temple. in exchange, we got to write our names to be displayed for all the birds to see and poop on.

nara statue clothes

most little shrine/temple statues are clothed for protection from the elements. it's probably more entertaining than anything.

nara statue clothes joan rivers

not so protected, though. it looks like joan rivers before she put semen on her face. (nip tuck reference)

and with that, we’re down to one more post about our kansai trip.  look forward to our final night in osaka.  it’ll be short, i promise.

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2 Responses to “kansai trip day 2 part 1”

  1. Deer: 2
    Geoff: 0

    “His antlers are still fuzzy!”

     

    stacy

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