A Road to Nara

Messengers of Shinto Gods, Sika Deer wander freely around Nara’s world heritage site that incorporates several of Japan’s oldest temples and shrines. The deer are designated “National Living Treasures” by the highest legislation in the land. 

I wish Australia’s animals were protected with such respect. Everything in Australia seems to be evaluated by scientific conditions such as biodiversity and sustainability, with little conceptualisation of the value of heritage.

(click on the image for a larger view)

We had a long weekend for March 21, 22, and 23 and we took the seven hour drive from Niigata to Nara. (The capital before Kyoto, which was before Tokyo). It was rainy and snowy along the road but we enjoyed two nights in Nara. The Saturday weather was kind to us and most of these shots were taken then. 

Thank you to Mr and Mrs Kosaka who kindly showed us the secret parking spaces of Nara, bought us too much dinner and took us out on the town in Osaka on Saturday night. I treasure my new hat.

Mr Kosaka has a wonderful hat store in Nara and he visited Canberra last October with the mayor of Nara and presented his new product, the "Sun Levee" which protects wearers from harmful UV. I think it will be most beneficial to those who have to work in the Australian sun. His website is in Japanese but can be accessed here: http://j-k-labo.co.jp

Japanese Pigmy Woodpecker on the grounds of Todai-ji

I saw a swarm of birds including Great and Long-tailed Tit as well as this JPW and they looked so nice in the sunlight but when I got out my bird camera and approached they went up into the shadows. Ain't it the way.

Great Buddha Hall (Daibutsuden) at Todai-ji

The Great Buddha of Nara (Nara Daibutsu) (right figure) was completed in 751 or 752 AD according to various sources

I think the looming figure on the right is Bishamonten 

One of Todai-ji's guards

Oriental Turtle Dove in Nara Park (Nara Koen)

Dusky Thrush

Nara Park


Kofuku-ji (above and below)

Mr Kosaka in his hat store in Nara.

and me