My impressions on Nara


Stayed in Nara for a bit

Nara is Japan's oldest capital city, before Kyoto

Nara: 6 ~ 8th century
Kyoto: 8 ~ 19th century
Tokyo: 19th century ~

Nara is lesser known than Kyoto & many, especially foreign tourists, visit there for a day trip from Kyoto/Osaka
for seeing only deer & a huge Buddha statue

which is understandable

Even for the Japanese, Nara's cultural/historical things feel "distant", "less approachable" & "less appealing" than Kyoto's

These impressions come from 2 simple facts
Distance in time & Length of time as a capital city

Nara is an older capital than Kyoto
Also Nara was the capital only for 200 years while Kyoto was for over 1000 years

Everything in Kyoto seems much more sophisticated, gorgeous & appealing

Feels like things in Nara require us some pre-knowledge, pre-experience & patience
yet it is patience that tourists have the least

while deer & a Buddha statues are exceptionally exceptions in Nara that entertain us instantly

To my impression,
Kyoto was characterised by the rivers
while it was the hills that Nara was represented by

Nara's historical monuments, remains & shrines don't have walls that separate,
that makes a clear division between inside & outside

Feels like Nara is still a part of the nature

Border-lines between the nature & people look vague and hazy

And gentle warm harmonious hills is the one that connects mountains & the city

Here, even deer seems an example of this co-existence of nature & humans

They walk around freely. Some walk into the city centre

This "leave them alone" policy looks particularly unusual in this country where people are obsessed with making rules, with restricting things & with getting themselves restricted