I don’t know what to expect in Nara. The city is an hour by train south of Kyoto.
We decided to start the day early to maximise our time in Nara since we were only here for the night.
We were at the Tofukuji train station by 7:30am bound for Nara. It was rush hour so as soon as the train doors opened, we were met with a swarm of people. 😅
Dad almost got stuck between the train doors, luckily the train officers re-opened the doors for him to get through.
Kids enjoyed the views of the houses along the train tracks but soon later dozed off over my shoulders. 😊
Upon arrival in Nara, we quickly grabbed a bite at a local cafe.
Across the train station, our hotel is Onyado Nono Nara Natural Hot Spring. A convenient place to stay for the night.
We dropped off our bags and off we go for a tour around the city.
A local guide approached us on our way to the steps of Kofukuji Temple.
At first, we were confused if he was requesting for a service fee but he clarified that he was a volunteer and wanted to gain experience for him to practise his conversational English.
The locals do amaze me ... a good reminder to self that no matter what age you are; if you want to learn then just do it!
Nara is also known for its deer! Most deer are so used to tourists that they get too aggressive and will poke you and prod you demanding for cookies.
We found this deer just away from the crowd - just chillin’ and probably so fed up with the same old taste of cookies. 😅
Next stop was the Isuien Garden.
Well, looks can be deceiving. When I saw the map; i thought it would take us the whole day to explore this garden.
Alas, i was disappointed upon entrance! The whole garden can be explored so quickly it didn’t even last me an hour while it took us only less than 5 minutes inside the museum 😅!!!!!! I paid ¥2400 (2 adults and 2 children) for the entrance (packaged as entrance to garden & museum - i am not even into museum). I felt so disappointed! Food and drinks were not even allowed inside the area.
So i decided to just wallow under the shade and just passed my travel cam to kids.
So off they went taking photos to anything in everything!
I give credit to Tori for taking these next images 😊
Now, we had the chance for Dad & I to have our photos together... photo credit to Tori. 😘
We then visited the Todaiji Museum. I decided to just stay in the cafe and worked (which is more fun!).
Dad and the girls checked out Buddha and his temple. Photo credits to Dad.
Oh by the way, in cafes they only service you with water if you order. No order, no service! 😅 You are not also allowed to loiter around. You have to order. So while i was finishing my cake, dad and kids needed to leave asap as soon as they came back. There was no point for them to ordering at the cafe since it was already lunch time. My kid had to quickly finish my cake then off we went.
So we found this lunch place... the (allegedly) Happy Kitchen 🤣
So, all I can say if it wasn’t for this rainbow slushy we were far from having our lunch here!
Just avoid this place at all! It is sooooo expensive relative to the quality of food you get. It is a Happy Kitchen only for the owners but not the customers! 😆
On the way home, just saw random deer smooching plus more! 🤣
By 3pm, we were back at the hotel, slumped on the bed. 😆😴
We will try for the onsen bath but no photos here!
Girls so excited for their first onsen experience!
A late night free treat for guests at the hotel! Sooo good i forgot to take an obligatory photo 😅
I enjoyed my stay here at the hotel.
Overall, personally I will not dream of coming back to Nara.