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Nara

Vivid autumn in Nara

I went to Nara last weekend to stay with my old high school host family.  It was about 8 months since I was last there, and I timed it just right to see Nara Park and the surrounding hills ablaze with orange, red, yellow and crimson colours as the trees put on their annual display.  (more…)

Himuro Jinja

The weeping cherry tree at Himuro Shrine, Nara, is “mankai” – fully open today. (more…)

Takatori Hinasan Festival

I’m at a small town in Nara Prefecture that’s holding a festival for hinasan dolls. (more…)

Takatori-cho

Let’s help preserve the old streetscape and prevent fires! (more…)

The three great Daibutsu

I seem to have visited all of Japan’s three largest Daibutsu (Big Buddhas) in the last several months.  That is, unless there’s another one out there that I don’t know about. (more…)

A fortnight ago in Nara

On a beautiful autumn weekend a long, long time ago (ok, well, two weeks ago), I headed down to Nara on Friday night after work.  My mission: be a good tour guide to some visiting Australian friends, Ali & Adrian, who were travelling around Japan.  I promised some time ago that if they arranged to come to Nara on a weekend, I’d pop down from Tokyo and show them around. (more…)

Takamadoyama

I used to come up here to the summit of Takamadoyama as a high school student. I remembered how to find the track, and headed uphill. It’s quite hot in the summer humidity, but the view over Nara is worth it. (more…)

Daibutsu

17 years on, and the old fella (Nara’s big buddha) is still in there drawing the crowds. Today, there seem to be many European tourists. I’ve never seen so many foreigners here before. About time I headed away from the crowds towards the lesser visited parts of Nara Park on the walk home. (more…)