FOOD,  OUTFITS,  TRAVELOGUE

Nara Park in Winter

Breakfast at Za Meshiya, 24 hour don restaurant in Osaka, Japan.We bade fond farewells to the yummy city of Osaka the next morning by having a hearty breakfast at Za Meshi-ya (ザ めしや), a 24 hour restaurant specialising in Don. That raw egg in a bowl? You’re supposed to pour it over your rice and mix it in – we didn’t know what to do with it and clarified this with the waiter who mimed it for us while explaining in Japanese. Thank you kind sir!

Famous cheesecake from Rikurou Ojisan no Mise in Osaka, Japan.We also scored a cheesecake from Rikurou Ojisan no Mise! They weren’t even open for business yet, but the kind staff took one look at the three of us rolling around our luggages and obliged our early morning request for an order of freshly-baked cheesecake. Lucky! Yummy cake in hand, we boarded the train headed for Kyoto… but first, pit stop at Nara Park:

Maple leaves at Nara Park, Japan.

My first time at Nara Park was in the summer of 2010 – read about it here & here. This time, I was looking forward to seeing the changing leaves and introducing Daibutsu-sama to both Shasha and Ruru who hadn’t been there before. Of course, there were the very friendly (and greedy) deer which were the main attraction of the area.

Beautiful manhole cover at Nara Park, Japan.Even the manhole covers feature deer.

Signs at Nara Park warning of the dangers of getting too close to the deer in the park.Warning! Yea well I’m pretty paranoid, so I’d already accounted for a million tragic scenarios in my head, but it’s still interesting to see cute signs warning curious visitors about our placid four-legged friends.

Chilling with deer at Nara Park, Japan.

Feeding deer at Nara Park, Japan. Photo by Shasha.Photo by Shasha.
Shasha, Ruru, and me.

Deer with shorn horns at Nara Park, Japan.I was disappointed that all of the deer had no noticeable antlers – they were magnificent when I visited Nara Park in the summer – it turns out that there’s a deer antler-cutting ceremony performed every autumn to prevent our friends from inflicting damage onto others and themselves.

Deer feeding at Nara Park, Japan.

We also bought senbei – these are magical items which possess deer-attracting powers:

Otsuka shop at Nara Park, Japan. Photo by Shasha.Photo by Shasha.

Nara Park, Japan.

Ren feeding senbei to deer at Nara Park, Japan. Photo by Shasha.Photo by Shasha.

Shasha feeding senbei to the deer in Nara Park, Japan. Photo by Shasha.Photo by Shasha.

Funny(?) story – one of the more aggressive deer decided to pounce on Ruru, who was holding the plastic bag containing the senbei we bought. This frightened her so much that she burst into tears and was inconsolable for a short while. Shasha instantly activated care mode and set about efficiently diffusing the situation, taking the offending plastic bag out of Ruru’s hands and diverting the deer’s attention. Meanwhile, I’m laughing like an asshole and being generally unhelpful because the whole situation was so absurd and Ruru looked so cute crying vulnerably like that. Those two are saints for continuing to be my friends, really.

Ruru's finger for size comparison with an unidentified bug at Nara Park, Japan.Ironically, whatever qualms Ruru has with mammals, she seems not to possess when it comes to insects. This is her finger because I wanted a size comparison with this odd-looking bug but was too afraid to go near it.

Wefie with soft serve cream cones at Nara Park, Japan. Photo by Shasha.Photo by Shasha.
We also got ourselves some soft serve cream, because why not.

Anyway, we headed to find Daibutsu-sama (大仏様: Big Buddha) at Todaiji (東大寺):

With our tickets to Todaiji at Nara Park, Japan. Photo by Shasha.Photo by Shasha.

Signboard describing the history of Todaiji, Nara Park, Japan.

In front of Todaiji, Nara Park, Japan.

Architecture of Todaiji at Nara Park, Japan.

Standing next to a lantern at Todaiji at Nara Park, Japan.

Daibutsu, the largest bronze sculpture of Buddha in Nara Park, Japan.

Sign detailing the intricacies of the buddha statue at Todaiji, Nara Park, Japan.

The Momiji (紅葉) were so beautiful in Nara Park. I could only imagine what it’ll look like in the height of autumn:

Maple trees hanging low at Nara Park, Japan.

Ruru, Ren, and Shasha at Nara Park, Japan. Photo by Shasha.Photo by Shasha.
We took turns excitedly posing in a panorama shot.

Maple trees at Nara Park, Japan.

Omikuji tied to the branches of maple trees at Nara Park, Japan.

Maple leaves at Nara Park, Japan.

Blood-red maple leaves on a tree at Nara Park, Japan.

Ren taking a photograph of a very red maple tree at Nara Park, Japan. Photo by Shasha.Photo by Shasha.

Maple tree and stone pillar at Nara Park, Japan.

Deer sitting among fallen autumn leaves at Nara Park, Japan.

Sitting with a deer at Nara Park, Japan.

Outfit at Nara Park, Japan: Zara grey knit coat, H&M grey menswear coat, CNDirect white midi dress, Stance camouflage socks, Spurr platform sneakers.

Ren among maple leaves at Nara Park, Japan. Photo by Shasha.Photo by Shasha.

We had an early dinner at a Kakinoha Sushi (柿の葉ずし) place in Nara Park before heading back to the station to retrieve our luggages from the station lockers and continuing our journey to Kyoto. I’d never tried Kakinoha sushi before, so it was a nice treat. It’s apparently one of Nara’s well-known dishes, consisting of sliced salmon or salted mackerel sushi wrapped in persimmon leaf (kakinoha).

Kakinoha Sushi in Nara Park, Japan.

Kakinoha Sushi at Nara Park, Japan.

Kakinoha Sushi in Nara Park, Japan.

Remember that cheesecake we bought in Osaka? We finally got to treat ourselves after settling at our awesome Airbnb in Kyoto. SO DELICIOUS. We shared the cake with Keiko-mama, our wonderful host, while warming up in a kotatsu and chatting about our itinerary. Keiko-mama was pretty excited about the cheesecake – according to her, Rikuro’s is a famous brand in Osaka. Pretty cool to know that we lucked out with the cheesecake.

Cheesecake from Rikuro Ojisan no Mise (Rikuro's Bakery) in Japan.

Cheesecake from Rikuro Ojisan no Mise (Rikuro's Bakery) in Japan.

Will be posting more about Keiko-mama in Kyoto soon, so stay tuned~

Wearing
CNDirect white dress
Zara knit coat
Stance socks
Spurr shoes

Outfit photos assisted by Shasha & Ruru.

6 Comments

  • Rosalind

    Hi,
    I like to know more on your traveling mode from Osaka to Nara. I’ll be bringing along my 5 years old twins for some deer feeding fun in early feb 2017. So was wondering what is the best mode of transport. And the duration as well. Love yr photos btw

    • ✿ren

      Hi Rosalind,

      Thank you! We went by train from Namba station in Osaka to Kintetsu-Nara station in Nara, which took a little less than an hour. We decided to head to Kintetsu-Nara station even though we had the JR Rail Pass because it was closer to the park than the JR Nara station. We looked to Japan-Guide.com (& Google Maps) to plan our itinerary, so I think this link might be useful for you too? http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4103.html

      Also if you’re traveling with kids, I’d imagine that train station coin lockers & IC cards would be super convenient for you! If you’re buying your IC card in Osaka it’ll probably be the ICOCA, which will be a cute souvenir as well, and you’ll simply have to tap in and out of stations instead of constantly having to fumble with change trying to buy tickets at the automatic ticket stations. Find out more here: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_003.html

      Hope this helps, and have lots of fun next Feb!!!

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