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Nara: Day Trip from Osaka or Kyoto

Nara: Day Trip from Osaka or Kyoto, Japan

One of the best things we did during our stay in Osaka was to go on a day trip to Nara.

Nara is home to temples, shrines and beautiful gardens, but its main claim to fame are the resident deer who roam the streets, bow for treats, and amuse visitors.This destination is hardly a well-kept secret and you are guaranteed to find crowds around the main sights, but don’t let that deter you from visiting. I’m sharing our 1-day Nara travel itinerary featuring historic temples, secret gardens, and delicious street food!

1-Day Nara Travel Itinerary

How to get to Nara?
 
Nara is a straightforward excursion from metropolis and metropolis with multiple train choices to induce you there.

From Osaka, you can take the Kintetsu Nara Line Or if you have a JR Pass, you can take the JR Kanjo-Yamatoji Lines departing from JR Osaka Station and arriving at JR Nara Station. We went with the first option since we travelled without a JR Pass.

From Kyoto, you can take the Kintetsu Nara Line. Or if you’re a JR Pass holder, you can take the JR Nara Line departing from JR Kyoto Station and arriving at JR Nara Station – just make sure you get on the express!

Things to do in Nara

Nara Park
 

Let’s start with Nara Park since this is where many of the city’s attractions are located and where you’re most likely to do your sightseeing.

Within this public park, you’ll find temples, shrines, museums, and walking trails. The park also happens to be home to  deer who roam freely.

Know that admission to the park is free, though you’ll have to pay for a few select attractions within the park grounds.

Nara Park
Todai-ji
 

The main attraction in Nara Park is Todai-ji Temple, which was once the world’s largest wooden building, this temple also happens to house the largest bronze statue of a Buddha!

Most of the Northern part of Nara Park is covered by Todaiji’s grounds which includes attractions such as Todaji Musuem, Nigatsudo Hall, Hokkedo Hall, Kaidano Hall, Shosoin Storehouse, former site of Lecture Hall and site of fomer east pagoda.

Todai-ji temple, Nara, Japan
Todai-ji temple, Nara, Japan
Feeding The Deers of Nara
 

Now let’s cite the most draw to Nara: the deer! Nara’s deer hold a very special status in the city.

Local traditional knowledge has it that Takemikazuchi, the god of thunder, once appeared on Mount Wakakusa (just up the hill from Nara Park) riding a white deer, and thus the deer inhabiting the surrounding forest were deemed sacred messengers of the gods and today they are seen as a national treasure.

The quickest way to befriend the deer is with treats, and thankfully there are lots of licensed vendors selling crackers specifically made for the deer. These are called ‘shika senbei’ and you can get them for ¥150.

Be warned that the deer can sniff out those crackers whether you stuff them in your pockets or hide them in your bag, so once you have them in hand, prepare for a herd of deer to approach. The deer are pretty good about bowing

Shika Senbei_DreamsVoyager_Copyright
Shika Senbei For Feeding Deers
Deer Search in Nara
Deer Search in Nara
Shika Senbei 1_DreamsVoyager_Copyright-min
Feeding Dears In Nara

Not To Miss

Seasonal Soft-Serve Ice cream
 

Another sweet treat that we have a tendency to enjoyed in Japan was soft-serve frozen dessert.

They had some seasonal flavours to choose from like sakura and white peach, as well as the classics like matcha, vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate.

I wasn’t too sure about the sakura ice cream (what do cherry blossoms taste like, anyway?), but it was surprisingly sweet with a light floral aroma. Definitely worth trying!

Icecream in Nara
Eating Ice-cream in Nara

We tried to see as much as we could in a day, but Nara Park is massive and we barely scratched the surface.

If we’d had more time and we’d known how much there was to see. This destination would make the perfect weekend escape or romantic getaway.

If you do decide to stay overnight, Nara has a mix of hostels and hotels – the place is worth experiencing at least once during your travels in Japan!

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What Kind of Traveler Are You??

What Kind of Traveler Are You??

There are many kinds of travelers out there, each one looking for something different in the quest of happiness. Some visit nice museums, some travel to get some peace of mind at a quiet destination and others travel to get to know a city inside out.

What Kind of Traveler are You?

During long flight journeys I found quite few purloined moments to seek the explanations why we have a tendency to travel and considered all the various types of travelers out there.

According to my own reserach 🙂 and our extensive travel to 40+ countries, it gave us a deep insight meaning to why we travel, and what others seek while traveling.

Why do we Travel?

  • Do we visit to expand our minds or our Photo Albums?
  • Do we visit to witness different culture and individuals?
  • Do we visit nice museums and stand before illustrious items of art to grab pictures to make our friends jealous and flood our FB and Insta Handle ?
  • Do we travel to remote places, have exciting adventures and get out of our comfort zone
  • Do we travel for soul seeking or rejuvenation?
  • Or do we travel to just tick things off or “Bucket List”?

What do you Mean by : “The Traveller”

A traveller I think, enjoys a certain amount of freedom, and spends time moving around place to place slowly, seeking out the hidden, less well-known treasures, avoiding the tourist traps and possibly doing things harder. As a traveller you spend more time in slow motion, resting up and absorbing the vibe of a place.

You pay time chatting with different travelers and locals continuously asking questions; sorting out the simplest means of going to your next destination and asking places to stay, and in every way you are keen to find out how places resonate.

You’ll chat to people over a sunset beer in a quiet courtyard and sleep in a place where the view is sweet. Some friendships will last, others will be fleeting and you’ll remember those people as being put in your life at that time for a particular reason.

“While many of us might answer differently, I can say that at some time or another all of these reasons have rung true for me.

What quite somebody are you and the way does one match into the below?”

Urban traveller

You love everything concerning town life: design, culture and arts,  restaurants and bars, shopping..You enjoy roaming the streets, exploring one district after the other, observing locals and tourists alike and just immersing yourself in the city’s dynamic rhythm.

The Photographers

These are the type of travelers who travel around the year and taking panoramic and mind blogging pictures around them. They travel to capture the natural beauty and Instagram them to create beautiful stories.

Relaxation and Nature Lover traveller

Whether it’s on the beach, at the pool or in a lush park, you love to unwind and take yourself away from the everyday hustle and bustle.

Sleeping in, sipping cocktails, reading a good book and unrushed dinners are your idea of a perfect getaway.

Translucent lakes, impressive mountains, enchanting forests or quiet beaches: this is what you look for in your perfect destination.You like to pay your days taking nature walks, exploring the countryside or just relaxing in the great outdoors.

Food traveller

Local cuisine plays a big part in the decision-making process when you’re planning a getaway.

Of course, the destination matters, however what you’re extremely trying forward to is  breakfast, tasty lunch or dinner with native ingredients.

The Backpackers and Adventure Travellers

Backpackers are the kind of travelers who love to explore different destinations and prefer independent travelling with low budget. However, adventure travelers are those who love going on trips and vacations to natural environments or remote locations with the particular purpose of active physical activities and exploring new experiences.

You opt for destinations off the crushed path and trending cities.

Rather than to a country’s preferred destination, you like to explore a city that is often overlooked and feel amazed that a place so special hasn’t been discovered yet by the crowds.

Family traveller

The location wherever you vacation doesn’t matter the maximum amount as having the entire family along in one place. Whether it’s outside fun – assume parks, playgrounds and theme parks – or family-friendly activities within, your vacation focuses on what you’re feeling is that the most vital thing: your family.

The Soul Searchers

These are travelers whose prime objective is to travel around to find themselves and to ponder the deepest philosophies of life. The soul searchers typically travel alone in search of their soul and usually schedule spots where they can spend time staring over the cliffs or taking long strolls or lonely walking through the woods.

The Typical Tourist 🙂 (Easy to find, Now-days Buzzing on Every Travel Group Forums)

As a tourist you stay in lovely hotels and you tick things off but don’t really experience the essence of a place – it’s a ‘Touch and Go’ experience of the most basic kind. A whisper of reality and then you retreat to your luxury hotel.

You get to the tourist attraction, walk around, take the photo and tick it off. You might talk about the destination at a dinner party afterwards in the way of … “Oh yes, we’ve been to Venice. It was amazing. I loved it! “

The food you eat will be good, because well, you’re only there for a short while so you can afford to splurge for a couple of days before you hit back to home. 😀

And there you have it!

Some folks may match singularly into one class, some folks may see version of themselves in many classes.

So have you guessed yet? Did you find out where you fall? Or are you someone who is totally out-of-the-box? Let us know in the comments section! We would love to hear from you! 🙂 😛 😀

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Nara Day trip

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Does traveling have a stereotype? How much time you spend in a place on your travels?

Does traveling have a stereotype? How much time you spend in a place on your travels?

A question I have encountered a lot of times during my travel.  Everyone travel with their own freewill, that’s true and everyone of us plans and decides what travel plan is best suited for us! Most of the travelers out there take a good decent break for months, even years, pick up one or two countries, get settle and explore the life out there. However, there are some people who only stays for a shorter time span in a city and travel to multiple countries and destinations. 

Does traveling have a stereotype that one should follow?

I recently attended a meetup in New Delhi initiated by “Wandering Earl“. I have been following Derek for sometime as he has been traveling the world since 1999 and it was really great to finally meet him in person. During the discussion, one of questions I asked him was how many countries he has traveled so far and as I remember it was 100+. However, he then explained that it doesn’t matter to him the number of places he has been to but what more valuable are the experiences and people he met along the way!

Travel Experience Concept

The second experience I would like to share -where I was recently traveling through Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and stayed there for 4 days. During my stay, I attended few travel meetups and met a lot of people traveling from all parts of the world. People of all different age groups ,believe me! With so many random plans which people where sharing most of them seems to be spontaneous. Many of them have quit their jobs, taken a break for an year or months and were traveling all across Asia and once they are back they had plans to hunt for another job. While some of them only had a short break for up-to lets say a month, and they had planned their trips accordingly. But finding so many people quitting their jobs and traveling long term in a place, made me wonder, is it the only best way to experience the charisma of traveling?

Quit job to travel long concept

A lot of travelers and bloggers, are mostly living a style of nomadic traveling and that’s the deal which has been booming on internet heavily. You know stories about people quitting the jobs, selling everything, and traveling all across the world. Well it seems kind a true to me after my recent experience of meeting people who kinda following the same footsteps in certain way. Although one of the topic of discussion in Derek meetup was also about the same where we discussed there has to be strategic plan for someone who really decides to take the style of nomadic traveling as most of people tend to give up or get bored along the way.

If I talk about myself, I am still in a phase, trying to discover how can you really enjoy the essence of traveling. While doing my regular work, trying to take as much trips as I can, I kind of have to usually adopt the short span traveling routing as I am still not totally convinced of quitting my work, finding another source of income just to survive my travels. So I keep experimenting all the different “styles” of traveling which people are practicing around the world out there lately.

What I believe, which I totally agree with what Derek mentioned in the meetup, what matter mostly are the experiences. I have traveled to some amazing places in my last 4 years span, and even though I mostly stayed there for shorter time, I have collected numerous experience of my life. It really doesn’t matter to me to set a specific stereotype to travel or to just follow what other people are doing, what matters is I just want to experience anything and everything when it comes to travel. I always tell the beginners who want to taste the travel life that dont think much. Whatever you can do, do it! whether its a day, month or years off, take it and go for it.

And maybe I think that’s the easiest way to experience travel as it comes, to free your mind of any preconceived notions, and find your experiences along the way. The more dynamic it is, the more enjoyable it will always be! 🙂

What do you think? Do you follow a particular travel style? Feel free to share you comments!

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