Saturday, December 3, 2016

Nara Day II: teahouses, temples...

A ton of photos - we walked around much of the day, now taking a break in the hotel room before heading out to eat (again). Human bodies need to eat frequently!

So today we started off in Nara Park, fairly early.
No smoking on the pavement!
Japanese maple in full autumn mode. Beautiful reds, yellows, and oranges.

On the way through Nara Park, there was a little village of guest houses - tiny homes - to serve as models for future endeavors.
Restaurant amongst the guesthouses.
The rare thatched roof. Charming and provides good insulation, but a fire hazard that also needs to be replaced every few years. Back then, it was a community effort, like a barn-raising. Today, well, a different story, perhaps.

Early on we encountered the famous shika, or Nara deer, preparing for their daily assault on biscuit-offering tourists.
A gazebo-like structure, good to put maybe next to a pond?
Wandered down the hill to a lake/pond, with bridges leading to a gazebo...

 Carp swimming up.

So many uses for natural materials, mainly stone and wood, that integrate into their surroundings so well compared to concrete. any sembé?
Nara homes.
Shika lounging in front of store. Originally viewed as sacred, now they are more like state-sponsored mascots.
No smoking off limits.

Shika everywhere. Today was their official horn-trimming day, though we skipped that ceremony to go see Giant Buddha.
Shika like ice cream, apparently. I like maccha-flavored ice cream.
Sake, sake, sake.
Beware tourists! Shika don't appreciated being messed with!
Tori entrance to Kasuga Taisha temple complex.

Working in the fall. Lots of leaves to sweep up. Hard work, but it's not difficult to imagine someone enjoying their work in these settings.

The mystical, self-appearing rock.

Stairs to women-priest entrance.

Monk guide finishing up a tour.

Bamboo fountain.
A California Hot Rodder, yeah, wandering the Big Buddha grounds.
Middle school class photo.
Middle schoolers in Shika Land. Lots of kids from cities outside of Nara come to be educated and amazed by the impressive temple and its contents.
Shika and friend.

Japan's biggest buddha.
Lotus leaf inscriptions.

Squeezing through the pillar puka for karma points.

"No touch!"

Kitahara Soba, great little noodle restaurant for lunch, just off the main daibutsu drag.
Kitahara Soba's street.
Photographer's studio.

...and the man who walked in looked like he had the right to.

It was closed today (Saturdays and Sundays), but the log-cabin treasury must be an intriguing sight to see in Temple Land.

Noodle shop again.
Menu, for future reference.
Beautiful Isuien Gardens, with teahouses, main house, and a perfect blending of man and nature.

A great place to contemplate...anything.

More research for future teahouse building.

Keep off the moss.

Wrapped rock, marked.
 Fountain, one drip at a time.

Water mill.

Modular design via sliding door interiors. Air throughout. Smell of wood and tatami mat.

Living in space.

Mini-garden in the space between buildings.

Inner garden entrance.

Grappling with roof structure.

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