Thursday, April 24, 2008

Nara 奈良

It has been a long time since I talked about one of the countries I like most in the world: Japan.

This time I will talk about Nara, which was one of my most enjoyable visits when I was living in Japan in 2006. Nara is located in Kansai, near Kyoto and Osaka, and was one of the first Japanese capital cities. Nara was the capital city of Japan from 710 to 784 and most of the monuments are from that period!

When walking in Nara, you can really field the spirit of ancient Japan!

One thing which surprised me a lot was that the city was full of deers!! It was really interesting to feed them or to watch people interact with them.

All the historical city of Nara has been declared World Heritage by UNESCO. Even the stone telling that is cool! Look at the green and the deers behind... Nice!

Nara has many temples and interesting places, but the coolest is Todaiji temple without any doubt! It was once the tallest wooden building in the world. The upper parts burnt and when reconstructed it was lower but still the highest in the world. The entrance is impressive, with some buddist deities protecting the temple on the sides of the outer gates:

And this is finally the temple. It is huge!

Inside, there is a 15-m Budda which is one of the biggest wooden Buddas in the world:

To finish, a nice picture taken in another shrine or temple in Nara:

Some times I feel I love Japan so much that I should go there for my PhD studies instead of California! Professionally, I can't say no to Caltech; but, personally, I can't say no to Japan!

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