Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Japan (2013) Day 2: Kofukuji Temple & Nara Park

Date Visited: 11th October 2013

Deer is what I can imagine when comes to Nara. These notable symbol of Nara is believed to be messengers of god.

On the second day in Kansai region, we decided to plan ahead by travel further out from Osaka city. In case you read my previous post regarding Travel Between Kansai International Airport (KIX) and Central Osaka, you will know there is a myriad tickets and rail passes to select from. 

Japan 2013 - Day 02 Osaka to Nara 02
#1: JR-West Rail Pass - Kansai Area Pass

There are two JR regional pass for West Japan (Kansai region)
1) Kansai Area Pass - Valid for unlimited travel in non-reserved seats from KIX to Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara and Himeji. Available ride on Limited Express Haruka.
2) Kansai Wide Area Pass - Unlimited access rides in the wider Kansai region including covers Okayama, Kurashiki, Konosaki Onsen, Wakayama and Shirahama 

As our plan to cover Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara and Himeji, hence we opted for 3 Days JR Kansai Area Pass for unlimited travel on local JR trains. This will only worth if visit one of the more outlying destinations covered such as Himeji, Hikone, Iga Ueno or Koka. But if you don't include these outlying destinations in your travel plan, alternate for Kansai Thru Pass (Surutto Kansai) for unlimited usage of trains, subways and buses for more denser network but this pass doesn't cover JR trains.


JR Kansai
Area Pass
JR Kansai Wide
Area Pass
Kansai Thru Pass
1 Day
2,300 yen
-
-
2 Days
4,500 yen
-
4,000 yen
3 Days
5,300 yen
-
5,200 yen
4 Days
6,500 yen
-
-
5 Days
-
9,000 yen
-

Note:
  1. The multiple day passes for JR Kansai Area Pass are valid on consecutive days.
  2. Kansai Thru Pass ticket can be used on any two or three days within the period of validity. 
  3. One advantage of JR West Rail Pass - Kansai Area is that JR trains to Himeji are considerably faster than non-JR trains. Otherwise, Kansai Thru Pass ticket should be consider better value, because it covers a denser and larger network than the JR Kansai Area Pass, especially within the cities.
Or perhaps, I should create another blogpost regarding Rail Passes for the Kansai Region.

Now, let's get back to our travel adventures to Nara:

How To Get To Nara From Osaka Using JR-West Kansai Area Pass

Japan 2013 - Day 02 Osaka to Nara 00
#2: From Shin-Osaka, we transited in Osaka station 

Shin Osaka to Nara Route 1
#3: From Hyperdia, this is the route we took


Shin Osaka to Nara Route 2
#4: Taking this Tennoji route on JR Yamatoji Line Rapid will be more faster 


Japan 2013 - Day 02 Osaka to Nara 01
#5: One thing about train in Japan is you can't simply jump into the train when approached. 
Look for the exact time of the train to your desired destination on display board.

Japan 2013 - Day 02 Nara
#6: The ride took less than an hour

Japan 2013 - Day 02 Nara 01
#7: Adorable Nara's mascot, Sento-kun in JR Nara Station. It's half deer and half Buddha

Japan 2013 - Day 02 Nara 02
#8: What I love about Japan - Signboard and map everywhere

We only went two notable tourist spots; Kofukuji Temple and Nara Park. From JR Nara Station, it took at least 20 minutes walk to these popular attractions but there are plenty of shops along the walk. Eventually, my mom was the one attracted to all these shops but can't blame her cause this is her first time to Japan. 

Kofukuji Temple complex is a World Heritage Listed Buddhist temple in Nara and one of the finest and great example of temples in Japan. It is a Buddhist temple that was once part of the influential Seven Great Temples. 

Japan 2013 - Day 02 Nara 03
#9: The Southern Octagonal Hall of Kofukuji

Japan 2013 - Day 02 Nara 05-1
#10: Tokondo (Eastern Golden Hall) on the left and Five Story Pagoda on the right 

Japan 2013 - Day 02 Nara 05
#11: Five Story Pagoda, the second highest pagoda in Japan

Somewhere nearby the temple's ground, we saw quite number of people gathered around and oh deer, I mean oh dear, I saw abundant of deer freely roaming and playing carefree around. Although they are technically consider to be wild, deer in Nara are relatively calm, tame and friendly. In case you want to get more close encounter with the deer, there are few stores selling deer snack (rice bran crackers) for 150 yen (approx. to RM5) and trust me, definitely the deer will approach you immediately before you do. 

Japan - Nara 05
#12: Close encounter with deer is one of my travel wishlish. #missionaccomplished

Japan 2013 - Day 02 Nara 04
#13: Although these deer are wild but they are calm, tame and friendly 

Japan 2013 - Day 02 Nara 06
#14: Even Japanese manhole covers are individual masterpiece of the street art. 

We missed out Todai-ji Temple, houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha because my mom wanna go for window shopping. It's alright anyway as long as we enjoyed ourselves petting the deer. 

How To Get To Kofukuji Temple
Kofukuji Temple is five minutes walk from Kintetsu Nara Station (using Kintetsu Rail Pass), or 20 minutes walk from JR Nara Station. Can also be reached from JR Nara Station by clockwise running loop bus number 2 or any of the buses bound for Kasuga Taisha (7 minutes, 190 yen). Get off at Kencho-mae bus stop.

Next Post >>> Day 3: Osaka Universal Studios 

5 comments:

  1. Sorry that you missed out on Todaiji... Missed the deers there 😂😂

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think the deer will not calm if they see the food on your hand but they are cute :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good information on the train . Lol...see the timing only 2-3minutes difference. If not careful can really end up somewhere else

    ReplyDelete
  4. i know those deer will follow your aggressively if there is food in your hand LOL

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh dear, you missed the Todai-Ji Temple which is very huge and interesting. We all enjoyed that place and the deer park outside was big with so many lazy deers waiting for tourists.
    Many ran up to bite me on my buttock and private part areas! I thought they were hamsap deers. My friends teased me that I didn;t shower clean enough.

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to share what's on your mind & thoughts.
Thanks for the comments and I'm truly appreciate that. =D
[If you spam my comment box to promote your site, sorry to say I will delete your comment(s) instantly. TQ]