Sunday, 11 April 2010

Our First Trip to Nara

Nara is the oldest capital of Japan (700C.E.). It is also the birth place of Buddhism in Japan. Our friend Seiji was all alone of the weekend as his wife had taken their children to Tokyo to look after her sister's children, her sister was on a business trip. So Seiji said he was going to be lonely (an amazingly cute thing for a 40 year old doctor to say). So he asked us if we wanted to go to see Nara with him. We said "of course". It was very lucky that the new teacher at the other branch of our school had come down on the Saturday. Seiji asked if she wanted to come too. So Helen stayed at our house, we had a lovely breakfast at home and set off to Nara.
The Buddhist monks in Nara decided that deer were the messengers of god and set down laws in Nara such that no one could hunt deer. For over a thousand years the deer of Japan have known that this city is a safe haven and they have flocked to it like Mecca. The end product is that the city of Nara has thousands of semi tame deer roaming freely like cows do in India. All over the tourist areas vendors sell stacks of wafer like crackers for the tourists to feed to the deer. The deer love these crackers but have no way to purchase them. This is the biggest joke on the deer ever. Because of this we thought it would be appropriate to tell you of our trip to Nara from the perspective of the deer.

"Hello I am a Nara deer, I would like to take you through a typical day in Nara"

"First I spend my morning bowing to tourists to get some crackers" ... "I really wonder what they are made of?"

"Then I sit on the boulevard with my friends and we talk about today's tourists"

"I warned them about this man named Seiji who tried to eat me, apparently he does not know that the law is on my side, I am a protected messenger of god"

"I barely got out of that situation alive, Seiji was crazy.... what should I do now?"

"I think I will attend a wedding hum.... I wonder if bridal veil tastes like crackers?"

"I took a drink under this beautiful cherry blossom tree... I wonder if the blossoms taste at all like cracker, mmm delicious crackers"

"This got me to thinking... maybe if I got a job I could obtain this fabled 150 Yen that allows these Japanese to so easily buy crackers."

"Crackers aside... I would like to show you some of the sites of Nara, this is Nan-dai-mon the great gate to the oldest wooden building on Earth, it also happens to be the largest. The people must pay 600 Yen to get in, that's a lot of crackers."

"This is what brings in all the tourists. The largest, oldest wooden building on Earth, it's what keeps the crackers flowing."

"This is the closest that I have ever got... even though I am the messenger of god, they still don't let me near him."

"As you can see this ain't your uncle's cottage in the woods, this is a BIG wood building."

"Inside sits Buddha, I wish I could see him just once, he is the provayer of crackers."

"He is very large... well you couldn't put a little buddha in there the building this massive. It's the kinda of place that makes a Hummer look like a Tonka"

"This guy looks very violent for a Buddhist."

"In Nara we have a big bell, no one seems to ring it, Helen and Seiji did not."

"This man Seiji finally got the right idea, he is not supposed to eat us, he is supposed to feed us crackers."

"These are my friends."

"We have a plan, I will pretend to shop, ya know interested in the merchandise, while Kazuko is the look out and Yoshimi raids the back for crackers."

"For some reason these people are stockpiling ancient stone lanterns, maybe they think that they are also the messanger of god."

"These humans came in traditional fur."

"We all thought that they were real pretty."

"We decided to head uptown to Kasuga Shrine where rumour has it the crackers are extra tasty."

"We decided to take a preening pit stop, if we look pretty we get more crackers, FACT!"

"We finally made it to Kasuga."

"There was a Shinto wedding being held, we were glad we had fixed ourselves up, but deer were not allowed in and the people were too distracted to buy crackers."

"I'm glad I live in Nara, during cherry blossom season it is beautiful."

"The five story pagota just as old a the big temple is a very good place to obtain crackers."

"This man was teaching his son the way of Shinto."

"As you can see our favourite pagota is very nice but there are many others in the city."

"As I approached I met two wonderful people, they had many crackers, but could not speak Japanese, I will not hold that against them."

"Good bye from Nara, I am just a small deer I need to go to bed my belly is full of crackers, today was a great success. Maybe you too can come to Nara and feed me crackers. Or if you have job for me it would be much appreciated, you know what they say, give a deer a cracker feed him for a day, give a deer a job and he can buy his own crackers."

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