Kirsty RTW '04/'05 travel blog

Osaka Castle, for all you Shogun fans!

Feeding the locals in Nara

Dear feeding deer

Todaiji Temple, Nara

Huge bronze Buddha

Shrine, and blossom

5 storied Pagoda, nara



Shinkansen(jus cos we can) for the 13 minute journey to Osaka!

Found the castle, which I was reliably informed was featured in Shogun(book and film!!), an old favourite of my aunties, so we climbed up the castle. She was awffy disappointed to found out it had all been restored and transformed into a museum, but still looked pretty aunthentic from outside, apart from the hoards of school kids, yet again all in identical uniform floowing a guide with a flag and speakerfone. A few kids approached us and asked for their pics with us, reminiscent of being in Peru!!

Then it was off to Nara, as we had been yet again reliably informed that Osaka was just urban jungle, Japans second biggest city.

Cannae believe how helpful the people are, people approach us if we even stop and look at a map, or the trusty LP. One point today, a man came racing after us after he realised the instructions he gave us werent clear enuff, just amazing, would never find that at home.

Nara looked fairly average at first glace, but headed off to H........., which was another temple this time with the biggest bronze buddha I eva saw, it was amazing, and yet again, hoards n hoards of school kids. It is set in Nara Park where there are hundreds of deer roaming freely, spend 75p and buy some deer biscuits then get assaulted by all deer in the vicinity! They ate half our map while trying to grab the rest of the biccies! Greedy devils.....Really tame tho, even let the yellow hat hundreds play and torment them without knocking off their hats!

And finally, I saw my sword!

Gonna set me bak 27GBP, but at last I was the proud owner of a Samurai Sword (replica mr customs guy!!) It was all boxed up and I got to carry it like Uma in Kill Bill, shame Ive not her jumpsuit or figure, cannae buy the figure :( Got loads of funny looks off everyone, until finally in the postoffice when I was enquiring about sending it home the guy burst out laughing when I told him what it was! cannae believe that not every tourist coming to japan would want a samurai. When I was buying it had a dilemma as the guy showed me a ninja sword, which is straighter and with a sharp poing at the end, and a square bit at the handle, as opposed to the samurais round one.

Luvly wee streets in Nara, a really nice place to visit, much smaller than Kyoto, has 8 UNESCO world heritage sites apparently, 2nd only to Kyoto in Japan in terms of cool old stuff!

Train back to Kyoto took an hour and we were entertained by a 72year old Japanese man who sat down next to us, after flipping the seat to our side, then proceeded to practice his english, he knew all about Scotland, seemed to have a huge knowledge of Germany, altho having never been out of Japan. Just the thing, when yeure looking for a wee bit shut eye on the train, then havin to concentrate twice as hard as the guys english was great if a little rusty, wanted to know all about scotland, how to pronounce words etc.

The best bit was when he brought out his personal organiser, when would u eva see a 72yr old in oor country with technology like that, yeah it totally is a different place, amazing how it all runs like clockwork, everywhere is spotless, saw a guy washing the signs in teh station today. Every bit of chrome, whether it be on concrete lorries or train barries, looks like they have just finished polishing it up, if i can work it out, im going for Tonys job!

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