Although the tournament has begun, the masters women’s division still has two days until our round robin begins. Today we hopped on a train to a nearby city filled with temples. Nara is a very pedestrian-friendly place and it seems as though many tourists pay the city a visit because we had excellent recommendations from the tourist office about what to visit.
The city is small, small enough that you can walk around to see most of the major sites in one day. We visited several temples and pagodas and a huge statue of a Buddha. In one temple we tried slipping through a small hole i a piece of wood. If you can fit through it you are supposed to have a happy life. We also got a nice history lesson about pagodas from a volunteer guide who seemed excited to practice her English.
After many meals of rice, sushi and noodles, we opted for an Italian restaurant in Nara for lunch and we all shared fire oven cooked pizza, green salad and lattes. It was a welcome change.
After lunch we wandered through the Nara shopping area and out to the temple with 3000 stone lanterns. It was an amazing sight to take in all the lanterns, surrounded by friendly, tame deer who wander throughout all the major attractions in the park without fear of humans.
After taking the train back, we stopped in at the local sushi shop right next to our hotel. It was the first real sushi restaurant we have been in. No one spoke a word of English and it was just about six locals sitting around laughing at our trying to communicate in Japanese. We managed to order takeout and it was absolutely delicious. And we definitely made the locals’ night too.