Yesterday I went to Nara! I was in a “man, what do I do today?” mode so I didn’t get going until after 11 AM. Didn’t even get presentable until after breakfast stopped, so I was feeling hungry. Getting there was really easy, I just took the Yamatoji Rapid line from Shin-Imamiya, where I’m staying, to Nara station. I was approached about a tour of the city, which appeared to be a bus tour; I politely declined.

My Lonely Planet guide is showing its age (two years). The places I had marked off as possible eateries were nowhere to be found, presumably closed down. However, I did find another place, recommended by the book, and packed by locals: Bikkuri Udon Miyoshino. I was in the mood for donburi, and they had it. I tried the katsu donburi, which was topped with egg and came with miso soup (almost many dishes do in Japan). It was really good. Katsu is one of my favorites so far, maybe because it’s deep-fried, maybe because it’s just that good.

Moving right along into Nara Park. I knew there would be deer, but holy crap there were a ton of them. They’re completely used to people, and vice-versa, and there were many stands set up selling treats for the deer for Y150. There’s lots of temples, so I won’t go through the details of all of them, you can check out the photos for that. I’ll just mention the interesting bits. At Kofuku-ji Temple, there were vending machines made out of recycled tea, how cool is that?

There were rickshaws set up all around the park, which was cool, there was the odd person taking rides, and it was fun to watch them go by as the runner conversed with the passengers, presumably describing local landmarks. I saw a restaurant flying the French flag, maybe that’s somewhere Angelica and Kenzo might want to go. Just follow Nobori-Oji east past the Nara National Museum.

There was some sort of food festival going on, so I took a look around. It was pretty small and seemed to be centered on an outdoor restaurant with a huge line, so I didn’t bother sticking around. You may notice in the photos I took many pictures of the waterways. I don’t know why, but I just like waterways.

That’s about all, really. It was pretty but became more of the same after a while. Maybe I should have gone into the temple but everything was really busy and I just didn’t feel like crowds.