First of all Nara was one of my favorite places to visit. I loved the city and and the deer:) I never thought I would walk nonchalantly next to numerous deer at one time. It surprised me how calm I felt next to a bunch around me because if I were back in Nebraska I would most likely be scared out of my mind. It was a great feeling to overcome a fear of mine.
When we were waiting outside of Todaji to get our tickets I was expecting to see a normal sized temple that we’ve been seeing. Instead I was blown away by the size of this temple. It was breath taking. The temple was not only beautiful but also the landscaping and all the green around it.
Nara was the first place I experienced green noodles and green tea ice cream. Green tea ice cream may be my new favorite because of how refreshing it is. I have never had more desserts than I have has in Japan. It’s weird because usually back home I feel to full and sick to even look/think of eating more. In Japan I felt wonderful after eating, even after dessert. I miss that.
10am headed to the tea ceremony. Taka ran us through the history and steps of a tea ceremony. We were presented with 2 rice cakes served on rice paper. They were delicious. A few moments later the tea was brought to us. You’re supposed to give the bowl 2 nice turns and theres enough for about 2-3 drinks. Be sure to slurp on the last drink so you don’t stain the bowl with any tea that may be left over. The tea was awesome as well and very refreshing!
Meditation…… Peaceful but a little painful. Painful because my legs ache being crossed for long periods at a time It was nice to sit in silence, hearing the wind and gathering all my thoughts. I tried to focus on my breathing a lot. In through my nose feeling the cold air. I’m still not convinced that Taka had us go the full 20 minutes.
Our trek to Kiyomizudera was at first a little long and tiring but once we got to the very large cemetery that wasn’t an issue any more. I thought it was beautiful being placed in the mountain. If I had a loved one there I might get lost trying to find them but well worth it. After the cemetery we made it to Kiyomizudera and wow what a view!
First blog post in Japan. Where do I even begin! Just finished day 3 in Kyoto and have already experienced so much.
Taka gave us the run down of Kyoto and certain etiquette. Including an awesome hand drawn map that I have found to be extremely useful everyday.
The first day a few of us traveled by train to the Kyoto station for some yen. Once we got our yen we were on our own for lunch and to find our way back to our temple. We wondered into a series of ramen restaurants. First time ordering a meal with out talking to anyone. Just pushed a button that had a picture on it that looked like it would taste good. Once I inserted my money into the machine a ticket came out and before I knew it a lady was leading us to table. Our ramen was delivered in a matter of minutes. Delicious.
Surprisingly the train ride back was easier than expected.
First night sleeping on the floor with a pillow filled with….plastic? It wasn’t as bad as I thought. The Tylenol pm might have helped somewhat :)