Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Nara Osaka Day trip

It was such an impromptu trip so we really had to improvise as it went. Because I felt lazy writing my 3 days itinerary in Osaka, so I'll start out with this Nara day trip instead. This is baby Bing's third overseas trip before he turned two this May. To think that I have never even boarded a plane before the age of 20!

Our homestay in Osaka was conveniently located within walking distance to tenjinbashisuji 6-chome subway station. Japan has a very efficient rail system but it can be complex because you need different tickets for subway vs JR vs Kintetsu rail vs Keihan rail.

For our day trip we took Kintetsu Osaka Nara one day pass which cost us 1500yen each. Even though people would tell you that you could walk in Nara but the free bus rides came in handy with the one day pass if you have a toddler in tow like us. Note that the JR/shinkansen/bullet train pass didn't come with the bus day pass.  In order to connect to the Kintetsu rail, we took the subway (extra one way ticket) to the nearest Ueohommachi subway station.

It took us about an hour to reach the Kintetsu Nara Station which was practically right where the town center was. We decided to take the bus all the way to Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine/Nigatsudo Hall first to avoid the crowd. Shinkansen would probably saved us 15mins but with a much hefty price tag.
Most of the sights in Nara are listed in UNESCO world heritage.

We were immediately surrounded by these wild deers that roamed freely in the whole Nara. Baby Bing enjoyed feeding the deers with crackers. Just be careful because they could kick or bite young children!

Watch our deer feeding experience here.

Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine/Nigatsudo Hall

It's a good stair climbing exercise to get a bird eye view of Nara.

The wonderful metal lanterns found everywhere in the temple.

Todai-ji Temple

This huge temple was just walkable from  Nigatsudo Hall with woods full of wild deer enroute. There's a small fee paid in order to visit the interior. 

Well worth it to admire the huge Buddha statue that everyone couldn't stop taking photos of.

As baby Bing decided to nap in his stroller, we headed to Kasuga-Taisha Shrine.

Love the garden surrounded by small stone statues.

Afterwards we had lunch back in the town center. Took us some time to locate this sweet little cafe recommended by Trip Advisor.

Mochidono Cafe Nara

Love the udon soup with dried tofu. Chewy noodles with soysauce based soup. All the sets come with their matcha pudding that tastes eggy. Yum!

Tempura rice set

Crunchy tempura fish, squid and crabmeat with mashed potatoes and garden salad. With pickled vegetables and rich mixed vegetable broth. Cold soft tofu dressed with soy sauce and bonito flakes.

Just because the food here was cheap according to Japan standards (average about 1000 yen per person), we ordered dessert. Redbean (Ogura) waffles with matcha ice cream. Everything needs to have matcha in Japan haha. Just a small warning, dessert here is sweet.

Finished the meal with a cup of coffee. Japanese love long black with cream. Different but nevertheless enjoyable cuppa.

We had a lazy stroll to Kofuku-ji Temple in the afternoon.

 Spent some time photoshooting the pagoda.

And enjoy the view of Nara from the top of the temple.

Ended our day with more deer feeding. I think everyone really enjoyed feeding the deers, especially for young children. What a great family day out!

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