Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 4: Nara and Uji

a.m. e-mail to mom...

stop torturing me with talk of ribs. grrrr...

had breakfast again with the hospital couple. so cute. she cooks veggies in their hotel room with the small pot for her husband cuz he needs his greens. dad ate so much. he must have been hungry from the hike yesterday.

now were off to nara. looks a little cloudy so might rain today. hopefully that will keep the deer off us a bit. yikes. were looking high and low for peach nectar. dad wants it soooo bad. we have to go in every convenient store to look. i found peach juice which held him over.... wish us luck on our peach hunt today. maybe in nara well have better luck. were off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! smoooooch,callie

p.m. e-mail to mom...

just got back from nara and uji. another fun filled day! except dad has blisters now. ouch. we went to the dollar store and bought contraptions like foam and tape and scissors to try and protect his toes for tomorrow. ;-0

nara was so fun!!! although the mascot for nara was a bit creepy. i guess since nara is famous for its big buddha and deer... they decided to combine the 2 and create this huge buddha deer man.... ahhh... how i love japan!!!

our favorite were the deer. they weren't as aggressive as the ones we met in hiroshima! remember them ATTACKING us from all angles and eating our only map and clothes??? hahaha.... these deer were sooooo polite! dad had them bowing for food. hahaha.... every deer we came across dad would say KONNICHIWA and then bow to the deer and the deer would bow back then dad would give him deer senbei snacks. hahhaha.... we drew huge crowds of japanese tourists who were taking videos and pictures of dad with the bowing deer. hahahah... he was a HIT!!!

but the children on the other hand were not so keen of him. he would yell HI!!!! and wave and act all goofy but the kids would run away screaming in terror or grab onto their parents and hide in pure shock. but then when we walked away they would come out of hiding and yell out BYE BYE!!!! and wave. so cute. more cute dogs too. little chihuahuas in coats, a boy poodle in a strawberry dress... and more. oh dear.

in nara we also went to todaiji where theres the HUGE BUDDHA! so cool. there was also this creepy guy sittin outside the temple... we heard from a local that if you rub a part of his body then rub your corresponding body part - then you will be healed!!! eek... dad rubbed his blisters. hahah... After Todaiji we then we walked up the hill to Nigatsu which was a big temple at the top of the mountain with beautiful views over nara. dad was in heaven.

after that was kasuga which is a famous holy temple where there was were loads of babies in fancy kimono shawls with their gmas in kimonos carrying them. we watched the monks (or whatever those guys in fancy robes are called) wave and shake rods of tiny paper strips over the babies and families and chant. all the grandmas and families wanted dad and i to take pictures of them. hahah... dad showed them his deer bowing trick in return. hahaha. he was sooooo popular.

we also saw a fancy wedding like the one we saw in hiroshima. but the man was a foriegner and the woman was japanese wearing the big white hood to cover her sinful horns. hahaha... they need a hood for the men instead, eh??? ;-)

we walked threw the gardens surrounding the temples which had 3,000 some rock lanterns. sooooo pretty. moss was growin on em everywhere. made me miss marimo. then we went to kofukuji which had another huge 5 story pagoda. this one was only a few centimeters shorter then toji in kyoto. it had a huge lightning rod so it didnt catch on fire for the umpteenth time. there was also really beautiful buddha statues and one of a householder... maybe theyll carve one of dad next.

we had lunch in nara at this DELICIOUS organic restaurant with yummy smoothies. perfect. then we watched a famous sweet shop POUND AWAY at the mochi then ate fresh green tea mochi filled with red bean paste. i LOVED IT and scarfed down 2 while dad was spitting it out in the alley.

we relaxed and then caught a train to uji.... the capital of green tea and tales of a genji in japan. the uji bridge was neat and famous for loads of historic battles... but all we saw was a traffic jam. not as exciting. but uji was welllllll worth the stop cause we went to byodo-in which is the temple on the back of the 10 yen coin. it was maybe our favorite exterior of a temple because surrounding it was gorgeous pines and trees and what i like to think of as a dragon moat. so cool. it also had a neat museum with really cool intricately carved buddhas riding clouds.

loads of tea shops on the walk back to the station but i think dad has had his fill of trying the green tea snacks. hahaha we have a reservation for dinner at a fancy japanese izakaya restaurant near the hotel. i better go freshen up and get over there!!!! ill try and do the tax thingamajig later. ufff..... love ya! miss ya! wish you could see dad in the spotlight with his bowing deer. i took video tho for ya!! xoxo sis

(tmrw were off to koya-san to stay with the monks and meditate. hahah... wish us luck!)

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