Day 6

Had a slow start this morning but got away after 9:30. Bought some food and got the train out to Nara. I stopped in at the tourist information office in Nara and the old guy talked to me for a while and drew a route on the map which would be the days itinerary. Nara was good, saw Kofukuji temple, Todaji temple, Nigatsudo Hall and Kasuga Grand Shrine. Todaji has the biggest bronze statue in Japan, a massive Buddha which is about 20m high and the building is the biggest wooden building in the world.

All of these buildings are in a big park area and it's full of semi-tame deer. I made a friend while eating cashews, she smelled them from a mile away. I put them away before she got to me so she tried to eat my guide book while I was reading it.

The park is huge so my feet are pretty sore and I sweated like anything. Luckily everyone else did as well, sweaty backs all round. It can sometimes be pretty slow going as there are lots of stairs around the temples etc. It's also impolite to eat, drink or smoke while walking so on a hot day you're standing around just having a drink very often.

On the way back down to the station an old lady called her husband and made hand motions about how tall I was. I've had a few stares but that's it, but all 3 of us had a bit of a laugh.

Relented and had maccas for late lunch including Grape Fanta and Shaka Shaka Chicken so I was still trying something new. The language isn't really much of a barrier, there are lots of signs and menus in English and most people under 50 can speak a little bit of it.

Ryan and another Canadian Tyler and I went for a wonder to find the street procession for the Kan Kou Sai event. It is a procession of 3 portable shrines to transport 3 of the Shinto gods from one place to another. It was so cool to see, and Yashi caught up with us later on and showed us the best spots to stand. Overall the ceremony lasts about 7 hours, and over 600 people carry the portable shrines in that time. It culminates in about 5 minutes of darkness at around midnight while the gods are transported into the temple. While all this is happening, the oldest orchestra in the world is playing. It felt a little strange seeing something most westerners wouldn't have seen before, but definite trip highlight.