With our last day before New Year’s Eve, we decided to leave the city to head out to Nara. With most of the friends assembled, we jumped on a couple trains out to Nara (奈良市). That is, after I got on the wrong line by myself (dumb Americani).
The city of Nara (奈良市) is sprawling with deer, which are a spiritual creature in the city. (I think some of my colleagues and any locals to the Midwest United States would disagree.)
We first stopped at Kōfuku-ji (興福寺), where we had some lunches that we packed. We strolled around there, but we knew the main attraction would be Tōdai-ji (東大寺), a World Heritage Site, the largest wooden building in the world, and home for Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿 ). Before entering, I was treated to a true cultural phenomenon — a Japanese couple pushing their dog around in a baby stroller. Apparently, this is a growing trend.
The Hall was quite impressive and reminded me of many of the grandest open spaces that cultures across the world have dedicated to their revered deities. Everywhere I have been, ceilings for the most impressive spiritual buildings seem sky-high.
With sunset chasing us, we went up to Nigatsu-dō (二月堂), behind Tōdai-ji (東大寺).
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