Last week my friend Kris was visiting me from California so while he was out here I wanted to show him some of the cultural sights. After experiencing the packed and hectic streets of Tokyo he was ready to see some more peaceful and slow-paced places in Kansai.
One of the places that I really wanted to show him was the Big Buddha (Daibutsu) at Todaiji in Nara City. Of course I have been there before but I wanted it to be a sort of surprise so I just told him that we were going to see a big statue of the Buddha. The surprise was going to be the size of the Buddha, and the hoards of deer roaming freely around Nara.
No matter how you try to describe the Daibutsu you can never really prepare anyone for the actual size of the statue. Its really huge and housed in an even larger temple. No matter how many times I have been there it is always a sight to see the humongous statue sitting so peacefully in that building which is roughly 1200 years old.
The day we went was also really sunny and warm and even though the cherry blossoms were long gone everywhere else there was still a few around Todaiji that were almost in full bloom. The other great thing is the hundreds of deer that hang out around the parks waiting for people to feed them deer crackers. If you hold the cracker out for them they will bow their heads until you give it to them. But they aren’t as well behaved as you might think. They chase little kids, sometimes bite, and will come up behind you and tug on your coat until you feed them. All in all they are really cute and its cool to see so many just hanging around.