Today we went to Nara to see the Todai-ji Temple. We left Kyoto by train in the rain, and by the time we arrived in Nara it had graduated to pouring rain. We transferred from the train to a local bus and off we went. The guide books mentioned that there were over 1,000 tame deer that lived in the park around the temple. They are considered ‘messengers of the gods’. Maybe so. But they’re pretty feisty, too.
We got off the bus and began to walk up the big path toward the temple. First thing we saw was a rickshaw driver trying to eat his lunch:
This particular ‘messenger of the gods’ ain’t too proud to beg.
There were women with pushcarts selling cookies that you could feed to the deer. That meant, of course, that there were a lot of deer around. Wet deer. Aggressive deer. We were looking around when Wilf lurched into me. At first he had the ‘why did you push me look’, but then he realized that I was in front him. He looked behind him and there was a deer with a ‘Dude! Where’s my cookie’ look about it. I guess when no cookie was forthcoming he decided a good head butt was in order. When Wilf turned around to take a picture I realized that the deer had left a mark:
And they were everywhere but in the temple proper:
But it was the temple and the Buddha within that we were there to see:
The temple is huge. The Buddha is huge. It is an amazing place. The Buddha was cast in 752 AD – he is 53ft high. Through fire, earthquake and political upheaval he has sat there for more than a thousand years, blessing those who seek his blessings.