While on my evening walk today, I dropped in at Ukimido Pavilion. Umikido is a hexagonal gazebo over the Sagiike Pond in an aloof area of Nara Park. During summer evenings the floating pavilion is illuminated and it feels very relaxing sitting in the center of the pond surrounded by enchanting lights.
I walked down to Kofukuji today in the evening to catch the huge Pagoda with the moon rising behind it. The five-story structure(Gojunoto) is the second tallest Pagoda in all of Japan. Built in 725 AD by the Empress Komyoh and last rebuilt in 1426, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage listed site.
Hōryū-ji is one of the seven great temples of Nara. We take a train to investigate the Pagoda at the grounds, said to be one of the oldest standing wooden structures in history. The tree used in the construction of the Pagoda dates back to 594 A.D. Can wood even survive that long!
The Kasugayama Primeval Forest hides many interesting flora in its midst. I go for a hike around the forest to Manyou Botanical Garden discovering an array of colors among the dense prehistoric forest of Nara.
We pay a visit to the ancient temple of Hasedera where the Ajisai is in full bloom in the monsoon season. The 1300 year old temple is also known as Ajisaidera or Hydrangea Temple, because of the hundreds of hydrangeas splashing the temple gardens in vibrant colors.
We go for late night stroll along a path shining with a sea of blue lights. Nararurie referred to as Corridor of Happiness, is held in early spring in Nara. The Park is covered in a beautiful world of azure blue, ushering in happiness into everyone’s lives.
I go on a hike to Uguisunotaki Falls, into the deep end of the Kasugayama Forest, surrounded by tall Pines, where even the Sun doesn’t dare to peep through.
We decided to do something different this new year eve. We walked down to Todaiji at midnight to usher in the new year with the blessings of the great Daibutsu. For it is only during New Year eve that the upper doors, in front of the face of the Great Buddha, are opened so all can witness the eyes of the Daibutsu.
I used to go past the Heijo Palace every time we used to drop in at Osaka. It used to look so beautiful in the night from the train. We finally went to the palace grounds today, to capture its majestic view. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Heijo Palace used to be the emperor’s residence when Nara was the capital of Japan in the 8th century.