Day Three

From the japan Collection

Our goal for the third day was to head down to Nara (奈良市), primarily for the deer park. On our way back we would then visit Fushimi Inari Taisha. Our first stop that morning was to a coffee shop called sentido where we had breakfast and coffee. We wanted to make sure we were fueled up for the trip down to Nara, so we stopped in a grocery store 八百一本館 and picked up some snacks and browsed all the various foods. We ended up buying some fried chicken, onigiri, some sort of bread chips that were coated in toffee and the biggest cream bun doused in chocolate we could find.

Decor at sentido was relaxing.
Decor at sentido was relaxing.
My breakfast sandwich.
My breakfast sandwich.
Natto at the grocery store!!
Natto at the grocery store!!
White radish.
White radish.
The grocery store entrance.
The grocery store entrance.

At this point in our trip we were super familiar with Kyoto station and how we needed to find out where we should go. We almost got on a slower train when we noticed there was a rapid train and we promptly got on it just before it left. We arrived at Nara station at around 1pm.

The express train.
The express train.
Nara station knows why tourists go there.
Nara station knows why tourists go there.
JR Nara station.
JR Nara station.
This deer character was everywhere in the city.
This deer character was everywhere in the city.
Nara Park 奈良公園

We beelined straight for Nara Park (奈良公園) and there were tons of deer and Kofukuji Temple (興福寺). There are vendor carts that allow you to buy crackers to feed the deer. And yes, they will bow at you to get crackers from you. The park was much larger than we thought and we ended up walking far away from the main park where there were even more deer.

A deer eyes a cracker cart.
A deer eyes a cracker cart.
A stack of crackers.
A stack of crackers.
Deer want a cracker?
Deer want a cracker?
One of my favourite photos: A deer enjoying his cracker.
One of my favourite photos: A deer enjoying his cracker.
A bride and groom showed up in the park.
A bride and groom showed up in the park.

Back outside the park, we walked along the street we came up from to look at all the shops. We ended up catching the local safety parade.

Owl Cafe ふくろうカフェ わたわた

We then stumbled on Wata Wata Fukurou (ふくろうカフェ わたわた), an Owl Cafe. We paid around 1000 yen for a drink ticket and about an hour of time with the owls. We could pet owls that were on their perch and we were allowed to choose one owl to hold.

Owls here were free for petting, as long as they were on their perch.
Owls here were free for petting, as long as they were on their perch.
This guy was not happy, and therefore not on his perch.
This guy was not happy, and therefore not on his perch.
"Oh dear."
"Oh dear."
This grumpy guy actually looked cuter in his profile picture.
This grumpy guy actually looked cuter in his profile picture.
Me holding an owl.
Me holding an owl.
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine 伏見稲荷大社

We finally made our made our way back to Nara Station and got on the local Nara Line train to take us to Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine (伏見稲荷大社). We arrived arrived at Inari Station a little after 6pm and were greeted by an absolutely insane amount of tourists. Since we were losing the light we raced as deep as we could into the shrine to get some pictures. The shrine is technically open 24/7, so once the sun set we then started the long like up to the summit of Mt. Inari (稲荷山) and then back down the other side. We hiked for over 90 minutes through all of the torii gates and it was worth every step.

The golden hour as the sun was setting on the shrine.
The golden hour as the sun was setting on the shrine.
Many many gates.
Many many gates.
Losing light, but it brought out a whole different side to Fushimi Inari.
Losing light, but it brought out a whole different side to Fushimi Inari.
Shrine charms.
Shrine charms.
Candles were set just outside the entrance to Mt. Inari.
Candles were set just outside the entrance to Mt. Inari.
Where our hike began.
Where our hike began.
Some pathways were admittedly not well lit and rather scary.
Some pathways were admittedly not well lit and rather scary.

When we arrived out the other side of the mountain, we headed back to the train station as it was already late and headed back to Kyoto. We headed back to Pontocho to find some dinner and found a sushi restaurant, though it was not particularly good sushi.

Our train heading back.
Our train heading back.
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