Monday, November 22, 2010

Autumn is in full swing in Nara Park

It was too beautiful to stay indoors yesterday and I went for a long solitary walk in Nara Park with my new compact digital camera.  For the people who come to Nara for the first time,  the best place to start sightseeing would be Nara Park, which is a spacious grassy, woody area with no gates, no fences, with full of historical and cultural sites including World Heritages, museums, hills, brooks, groves, government buildings, people's houses, about 1200 deer, and so on.   Whenever I visit there, I find something new.  I took my favorite course in fall.  I hope you like it, too.

Sarusawa Pond is within a few minutes' walk from Kintetsu Nara station. Can you spot  turtles on the logs?  They are comfortably basking in the sun.  Beyond the pond and the traffic road is Kofuku-ji Temple precinct.

The threads of weeping willow is not so long as in summer, so I could see a clear view of Five-storied Pagoda of Kofukuji Temple.

Woodblock print by Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950)
The view of the pond with the shadow of the Five-story Pagoda reflected on its surface is beautiful.

 Ukimi-do, a hexagonal bridge-connected pavilion on the water, is a pleasant place for a rest.

a path to Ukimi-do

In spring, you'll be walking under the canopy of cherry trees thick with pale-pink blossoms.

Some Japanese maple leaves have just started changing colors.  I like the mixed colors of pale green, yellow, and orange at this stage as well as the fresh greenery in May, which are suggestive of coming and going.  In most of areas in Nara Park, they are crimson at their best now.

Don't disturb the couple.  Leave them alone.

This is a view I saw when I turned back after going up the stone steps at the backside of the Todai-ji Buddha Hall.  Further going up brings you to the Belfry.

The original Belfry was blown down by a severe typhoon in 980: the present one was rebuilt in the beginning of 13th century.  The elegant architectural structure has the influence of Zen style of architecture.  The Bell dates back from the time of the founding of Todai-ji in 8th century.  It is the second largest next to the one of Chion-in (Kyoto) and is known for its long ring.

Go up higher, and you'll come to Nigatsu-do Hall, or Second Month Hall.  It is called so as Shuni-e Ceremony is held here during the second month of the lunar calendar since 8th century.   The present building is a reconstruction of 1669.  You can have a great view from the balcony.  (Free of charge.)

the popular ginkgo tree in Nara Park

What causes the leaves of the trees to change colors is weather condition: sunlight and cold temperature, but not freezing cold, have big effect on dogwoods (in October) or maples (in November) for vivid red colors.   Yellow leaves are guaranteed regardless of weather.

view from Azumaya (resting place) on the higher ground

Here you are in Yoshiki-en Garden.  It is said to be a residence of the high priests of Kofuku-ji.  Now the whole compound is owned by the Nara Prefecture's Government.   There are ups, downs and curves on the ground.  (Foreign visitors with passport: free of charge to the Garden)

A gateway to where?

Tea House with thatched roof  in the moss (cedar moss) garden.

This is not a gigantic two-story mushroom but a stone lantern.

On the way back to the train station, I found a deer feeding alone.  I hoped  this deer would not go farther into the town.   If no one gives him food, he wouldn't and would get back to his usual place. 

It's important to think about how humans and deer can coexist.  As one of mesaures, there are few trash boxes in Nara Park to protect deer, to prevent them from eating the bad things like plastics when they try to eat the leftover of foods.   Tourists are expected to bring back their trash with them.   Not to leave anything except for memories would be a common sense of a tourist.

Thanks for reading.  I'm happy to share the scenes I love with you.

Nara City Sightseeing Information Center


  1. Your photos are magnificent. Japan has such beautiful landscaping, everything just flows and drapes so beautifully! It would be wonderful to walk the paths you take around Nara Park. I can imagine the sound of the Bell in the Belfry. You are blessed with such a serene place to walk in solitude!

    Lovely Post Yoko

  2. Nara Park will be in my dreams tonight! It's such a serene and lushly landscaped oasis in the city. I enlarged the photos and had to smile at the turtles on the log. Do you know that a group of turtles is called a "bale" in English? It's a new word I learned from a fellow blogger. The trees along the Ukimi-do look like they are supplicants, reaching toward the water. I'm afraid I had to bother the couple in the Public Hall area - I had to ask them directions. (Lucky for me, they spoke English!) PS I like the additions to your sidebar. Happy photographing.

  3. Hi,Stardust!
    It is the most beautiful time in Nara and Nara park. Your photos are all so beatiful! The Ukimidou is also my favorite place. I like the photo best. Let's enjoy our beautiful autumn.

  4. Today I went to Kyoto to see landscape with colourful leaves.
    The air and wind were already of winter, and I felt sometimes autumnal sunlight, as I can see in your nice photos, like remains.

    I didn't know about the story of Belfry in Nara park, although I visited there many times and looked up at the old bell. Your comments about the photos let me have another look at familiar views in the park.

  5. Beautiful pictures!

    On TV the other day, they showed the gorgeous autumn leaves lit up at night around Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto. Spectacular array of blazing yellow-golds and reds and purples! I wish I could go and see them.

  6. I really appreciate the nice comments written by each of you.

    Your comments have reminded me how I'm blessed with nice Friends, each of who has her own unique color, and also with the gift of the season, and the place where I live.

    To read ideas, feelings and thoughts written in English helps me get better with my English and I can pick up new words and idioms. I didn't know "bale."

    I'm not a good photographer, but thanks to the advanced technology, even I can take so-so nice pictures if I set it "idiot-proof" mode, though what to shoot and decision of angles are entirely up to me. I hope you'll enjoy my next post.

  7. Nara has dignity.
    There is one of the places expressing Japanese elegance most.

    Your photography brings on a graceful atmosphere...

    Thank you.

  8. stardustさん、こんにちわ。



     Red Roseさんの推薦ありがとうございました。



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