Our visit gets immediately the cultural style starting from the second hot day during which, boldly sporting the secret power of our JR Pass (very beautiful thanks to Hokusai's Big Wave printed on it! *_*),
we head fast to visit the city of Nara, just an hour away from our base in Kyoto.
Little deers are tightly bond to this town full of history.
Hundreds of deers walk among tourists, looking for senbee (tasteless “cracker” made of soy which they seem to like much and which many booths don't forget to sell) in all the parks surrounding the many city temples.
It's a picturesque show for Italians, used to their best to throw grain to pigeons in San Marco Square.
The deers allow the tourists to caress them quietly, so we too got close to take a bunch of pictures with the cute animals in any kind of pose just as tradition.
Obviously we assaulted the first kitsch booth that was selling elegant hair rings sporting deer like furry hears and horns ^_^.
Not mentioning Roberto's bad idea of buying the senbee : as soon as the four legged animals smell food it's the end; they follow you in group, like you were mother goose followed by her chicks, and they don't let you go unless they are convinced that you really ran out of senbee supplies.
At some point I was totally surrounded and while Paolo received an attack to his virility by a particularly greedy deer, I got a “friendly” bite by another who wanted to drag my attention to obtain the precious senbee.
A large bruise in my inner leg was visible for the whole following week, damn you!
Another worrying characteristic and certainly not a secondary one of Nara's deers is their defecation.
A lot, and relentlessly.
They shoot rounds of little shit balls at unbelievable speed; we immediately realized that those covering the ground (which we ingenuously thought were berries) were after all their noble shit.
They for sure have no problem of constipation.
But our real surprise was that in the following days we would all start to produce that matter in the very same way.
But I realize that coprophilia is not a subject to be discussed here, so let's go on with the report ^_^
The visit continued smoothly leading us to discover the various temples scattered all around the town, starting from the massive and magnificent Todaiji, that houses both the Daibutsu, one of the biggest Buddah statues in the world, and the way to enlightening.
Let me explain quickly.
There's some sort of a big wood column with a small rectangular hole at its base going through it from side to side.
According to the legend, only those who manage to pass through this hole obtain, honoris causa, access to enlightening
At this point there is something I must tell you.
Speaking of this hole, our paper guide, of which I'm not mentioning the name for obvious reasons, reports as follows:
“Curiously enough children can pass easily through the hole while adults don't”... yes, really strange watching at the hole's dimensions none of us could realize why.
By the way, Paolo accepted the challenge first and managed to reach enlightening, and after him Roberto and Nadia were enlightened... at this point, after having witnessed how a German lady, with an aircraft carrier installed where her bottom was supposed to be, passing through the hole without being stuck, but only with a small help, I decided that if she did it, I could too... and that was what happened.
Only Francesca will stay on Earth damned in an endless circle of sins, while Roberto – and his arm -, more than others will remember what be enlightened means for a very long time.
The visit goes on with new improbable purchases (this time it was some small wool hats shaped like a deer... I already know I will never wear hem XD), a brief stop in the afternoon to have a tasty kareraisu (curry rice) and other sacred places where we bought a lot of omamori - the good luck talisman – and drawn, just as tradition the future telling note. It was good for me... mine read “big luck” ^_^ .
While the day is going to end and most of all after having refueled at a Starbucks (practically speaking we were there at least once a day to my personal joy... I love caramel frappuccino!!!!) we stop at a bookseller/newsstand where many magazines reporting the Italian victory in the World Soccer Championship are exposed.
I won't hide it, we are filled by national pride by seeing all these magazines.
We buy a couple of convenient room planetarium which we can build at home using a crazy amount of vinyl glue...
The evening ended with a dinner in a typical restaurant you expect to find in an anime depicting a slumber; I don't want to go there again, I still have nightmares about the oil dripping brush with which they used to “clean” our slab!