Yey I had the Japanese language mid-term exam today. The semester is officially in midway which makes me a bit sad and happy at the same time. This means that I’ve been here already for 2,5 months and I still have 2,5 months time to explore Japan. At the same time it means that I am almost done with all the courses that I need to study for my degree. But don’t get too excited I still have a master’s thesis to write when I return to Finland…
Anyway I was pretty happy after the exam because I studied quite a lot for it and I think it went well. After the test I realized that I’ve been studying Japanese language only for two months and I am able to say many things in Japanese and write a bit. I may not understand it much but at least I’ve learned something. :-D I even know around 45 kanjis (not my favourite part of studying the language).
I have been quite busy this week with school stuff and I still have few things I need to do during the weekend. This weekend I plan to go to see the autumn colours and maybe try to go an onsen. I found one option where one can go also to a sauna!! I reeaally hope I can go and warm up in a sauna because the weather is getting colder and colder. Luckily we have sunlight for at least 12 hours during the day. I hope the days won’t get much darker…
Last weekend we went to Nara. Nara is around 45 minutes away from Kyoto (by train) and it costed around 600 yens (like around 4 euros) to get there. One of our teachers told us that Nara and Kyoto were the only cities in Japan that weren’t bombed during the Second World War because they had so many World Heritage areas. Nara is also famous of the deers because they live in the city. Legend tells that a god (Takemikazuchi) arrived to Nara riding on a deer and since then the deers have been regarded as heavenly. I thought that there would be only few deers but the tourist area was packed with deers.
If you travel to Nara bring water bottles and snacks with you because we found it a bit challenging to find convenience stores in the touristic area of Nara. It is reasonable that they do not sells snacks there because once you are eating something the deers want to get to know with you (or more speficially with your food). Also it might be wise to look for a restaurant in before hand. We just went there without any recommondations of local restaurants and ended up after a restaurant search eating pasta in some cafe. It was the saddest pasta I’ve ever eaten. I ordered a creamy pasta with three or four different mushrooms.. reality was that the pasta was small and I could barely see or taste the mushroom(s) but the at least it was creamy as the menu promised.
The deers were so cute and interesting though. Although the deers were nice one should still be careful because they are still wild animals. They can attack you if they want to! You can also buy special cookies and feed the deers but I didn’t want to do it after I saw how the cute deers turned into little devils. Once someone showed they had a cookie the deers became a bit aggressive and some deers started biting pieces of cloths and rubbing their heads on the cookie holders with a demanding look on their faces. Some had a little more delicate approach and bowed for a cookie.
I really loved the deers and the Todaiji temple with the huge Buddha. Here are some pics from the trip to Nara:
Next we plan to go to Kobe and to Tokyo.