Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 1: Nara Deer Park & Todaiji Temple (Nara)

26th March 2009

From Kansai airport, we took JR line to go to Oji (place where we stay). I'm going to make separate entry on places we sleep ok :)

We bought 7-day JR pass for our daily route but we can't use it on the first day as we going to take shinkansen on the 8th day. Shinkansen (bullet train) fare is very expensive so we are saving up the JR pass for it and going to activate it on the 2nd day. So we bought normal ticket and MrComot was very confident to use the ticket machine and we stare at those machines like, 10mins and then said "forget it!". Haha seriously we have no idea how to use the ticketing machine as it is totally in Japs. Luckily there is a big JR office there, so we bought the ticket from the counter.

When we reached Oji, temp seems like colder than in Kansai! I had to put on my gloves after few minutes walking. Oji is a little town a bit outskirt of Osaka and real nice. It's very clean and serene.

The first thing I see in Oji - bench with cute figurines! Kawaii!! It is right in front of the JR station. I quickly sit on the bench asking MrComot to take my pic and guess what, the bench is freaking cold. But for the sake of pictures, I am widely grinning :D

Then we walked to our ryokan (japanese guest house) about 10mins walk, checking in, rest for a while, freshen up and we are good to go.

We had our little lunch at Senkyu, a local hypermart near to the station.

When we stepped into the foodcourt area, then we realize we have big trouble. Everything is in Japanese! 100%! No single English! We were like, OMG, what we going to eat. Actually we know that they don't speak English, but we don't know it's going to be ZERO english.

So we walk and walk until we see a crepe shop and the menu looks ok, based on the pictures displayed so we tried to place an order

Us: One! (showing first finger)
Crepe girl: Ahh one! (imitating us)
Us: No meat
Crepe girl: Ha?
Us: You got seafood?
Crepe girl: seee-fooo?
Us: We can't take meat. No meat (waving our hands)
Crepe girl: Ha?


I don't expect it will be this hard. Tak sangka they don't even understand the keyword. Luckily, Japs are very friendly and helpful. The crepe girl trying her best to attend us and she shows us one bye one ingredient she's going to use - flour, tamago (egg), corn, ebi (prawn), and mayannoise then we happily say "OK!"

Haha so this is our first meal in Japan

Ebi crepe at 420yen (with drinks, ice lemon tea)

Around 11 AM, we off to Nara (using JR line) straight from Oji for their deer park. Tell you the truth, I wasn't very keen to go to this deer park as I was thinking "deer? must be like a zoo" but MrComot insist us to go and I'm glad we did!

Me at the deer park

There are lotsa deers, like everywhere! And all of them are freely mingling with us.

Everywhere inluding in front of the shops!

The deers are not violent and you can feed or pat them. They also are not afraid of human, in fact they keep on chasing people for some food.

A group of deers trying to get food from this girl. She's holding some crackers I think.

This one sniffing me. Am I smell like a food too? :D

MrComot with them

Me with the road signage

We bought one small steamed sweet potato (400yen!!) from roadside stall and it is delish!

The potatoes uncle

Todaiji Temple is next to the deer park, about few minutes walking. We were greeted by lots of sakura trees but most of them still budding. According to the forecast, sakura should be blooming by now but due to still-cold weather, the prediction go haywire. Even our pilot said weather has been crazy hehe.

Todaiji Temple also known as one of world's heritage. It is filled huge buddhas and most of them are carved from solid wood. The main buddha is made from gold and copper. Admission is at 500yen per person.

The big big buddhas

People burning the incense

No english translation, so I don't know what is this

There is a big pillar in the temple and the parents forcing the kids crawl under it (got a big hole in the middle). I think it means something, maybe some kind of good luck.

Me under a fully bloomed sakura

Another tree. It is so 'rendang' that I can reach the flowers.

Some teenagers at the fortune tellers stall

We reached this shrine (next to Todaiji) at their prayer time. We get to see this monk praying in front of their god, facing the mountain.

Me at the shrine. All of the pillars and walls are painted in orange. According to them, this color can 'halau' the ghost.

We had dinner in Senkyu again - Donbori (rice with egg on top and sprinkled with soy sauce) and ebi and vegetables tempura. The donbori is really nice that I planned to make it in Malaysia hehe. Angan-angan mat jenin sangat.

We arrived Yougendo around 11PM and sleep like a baby. Oh ya, the room is very collllddd too! We had two heater inside and put them to the max at 31 degrees! But still, we have to wear our socks during sleeping.


  1. aku nak potato tu gak..

  2. baju aan cantikkk...eheheh nak jugakkkkk..:p

  3. seronoknye dpt bergambar bwh pokok sakura...hehehehehe. makanan die nampak menyelerakan. mcm ne aan confident pilih kedai makan yg x hidangkan pork? ade kwn yg suggest ke? anyway, baju aan sgt adorable...beli kat mane ye? hehehe...

  4. sakura tuh bau dia wangi tak? *apa nyer soklan daaa.. tapi nak tau gaks! hihi~

    nasi tuh selera amat. kalu buat nnt sila dedahkan resepi mereka, tq =D

  5. Meng, kat chow kit ada kut nyah. Tapi kau makan ke ubi Malaysia? opss

    Cool, hehe tomei kannn. Me pun suka :D

    Erda, bab makan mmg susah kat Japan. Nak cari 100% halal mmg takde la. We dont hav friends kat Japan but luckily their style is to display contoh food outside the shops, so we tgk-tgk yg mana takde daging langsung, we masuk makan la. But ada jugak a few days terbabas masuk shops yg serve pork, but what to do, just don't order the meat lah. The best thing I think is bawak bekal byk2 from Malaysia and avoid makan luar :)

    My baju from NafNaf and luckily masa beli tu 50% off. Haha kalau tak mmg tak beli dah.

    Alis, me lupa nak tulis! Actually before sampai Japan pun me wonder sakura ada bau ke tak, but actually takde bau langsung. Normally white flower ada subtle smell kan, but ilek :D

    Me mmg suka la donbori tu, nnt nak try buat. SO far yg me tau, they just use egg and kikkoman (soy sauce). Cara masak telur tu je me tak sure mcm mana hehe

  6. Very nice post. Great Eastern Temple is also called Todaiji. You can find regional Buddhist temples, head-office of the Kegon school of Buddhism in Japan. Nara Daibutsu or the Great Buddha of Nara, the statue was instated in the Great Buddha Hall or Daibutsuden. YOu can see the gigantic temple complex of Todaji.Two magnificent pagodas towering 100metres high that were the highest buildings globally during that time. Statue of the Great Buddha is made of an amalgamation of copper and bronze.

  7. Hi Aan,

    Thank you for posting this. It's very interesting. I'm sure you had a great time. Btw, while you were at Todaiji Temple, did you see any place that served lunch? I'm planning to go there next year, and it's very likely that I'll have to eat lunch near Todaiji temple (according to the schedule I'm making).


  8. Hi Lia,
    It's a very nice place indeed. You have to got there! Anyway, as far as I remember, there is no restaurant/shops that are selling proper meal there. But there are arrays of shop selling light food like crackers and drinks. And that day I went, got food cart selling sweet potatoes.

    It's recommended for you to bring some packed food.