Day twenty – Kyoto to Nara

Both feeling somewhat the worse for wear, waking up with stiff calf muscles and various aches we had hotel breakfast and checked out to head to Nara.

I wanted to travel in the morning after the horror of Hiroshima to Kyoto the other day and how much it stressed me out, and it worked out relatively well. Nara is close enough to Kyoto that we took a local express train rather than a shinkansen. Unfortunately as it was a Sunday, a lot of other people had the same idea, so the train was quite busy and we had to stand the whole way (45 mins or so).

Our hotel didn’t seem too far from the train station, but can I just say that dragging your suitcase over artistically uneven cobblestones makes everything a hundred times harder? Sure, cobbles are pretty, maybe the rough marble ones adds a certain something to the pedestrian walkways, but mostly they create a ton of resistance for little suitcase wheels and make your tourists have to work extra hard and get cranky in the afternoon sun.

Nara was busy on a Sunday afternoon, lots of tourists and locals on a day trip. Anna navigated us to our hotel and we left our bags, but it was a late 3.30pm check in, so we had some time to kill.

We got lunch at the Doutor conveniently across the street and decided to check out the deer park while we had time. Last week in Pokemon Go there was a community day but they’d had server issues, etc. They made up with a replacement community day which hit just as we were looking for something to do.

Thus, we wandered up the deer park and caught a lot of beldums on the way.

The park is full of deer. Considered to be messengers of the gods by the Shinto religion, they’re considered a National treasure and there’s over 1200 wandering freely in the park. Deer Cookies are on sale for 150 yen and the deer are into them. It being Sunday afternoon on a clear sunny day, the deer were largely over it. Many were just sitting or sleeping, and although we managed to feed the deer a packet of cookies each and then just wandered looking at the shrines and things in the park.

It’s a very beautiful place.

We had a delicious soft serve and then wandered back to the hotel via some touristy shops for postcards and souvenirs. We also got dinner from the konbini, lots of drinks, onigiri, edamame and sushi. I know it doesn’t sound like much to get food from the convenience store, but it’s very high quality food and super delicious.

The rest of the day was just resting. We both needed it.

My self care included a meditation, a nap, changing into my softest clothes, drinking lots, a face mask, cuddles and telling myself I didn’t *have* to do anything. That last one is the hardest.

After a while I did perk up some and got a lot of postcards written so they could be sent. I don’t know if any of the postcards I’ve sent have made it to New Zealand yet, but at least they’ll have the Japanese post mark on them. Hopefully some of them will arrive home before we do.

Here’s some fancy portraits of deer by Anna