Wakakusayama and Unkei statues 若草山

Wakakusayama

November 20th.

Resuty Karako・Kagi michi no eki

Resuty Karako・Kagi, proves to be a good place to stay and with easy access to Nara. A look around the shop shows it offers a wide range of produce, vegetables, meat and a few bentos. It also has a bakery, a restaurant and sells clothes and trinkets. Also, within walking distance, are the Karako Kagi Remains, now a park featuring the Yayoi era.

Wakakusayama  若草山

We leave, and make for the Nara Okuyama Driveway. This is not what we expected at all and we find ourselves in a car park at the top of Wakakusayama overlooking Nara. This is a viewing spot but if you want to walk a bit you have to pay a 150-yen toll. Of course, you can walk up Wakakusayama from bottom in about 30 mins. but to reach the viewing spot you would be hit with the toll, I assume.

Wakakusayama

Wakakusayama

This we do, pay the toll, and eat our lunch, in the sunshine, overlooking Kofukuji and Todaiji temples and Nara city. The view is fine but the wind is a bit sharp and we have to finish our food in a hurry after being spotted by the ubiquitous deer.

View from Wakakusayama

View from Wakakusayama

Enjo-ji and Unkei statues  円成寺

Leaving Wakakusayama, en route to Yagyu for a walk, we stop to view Enjo-ji. At this temple we discover the Buddhist image Dainichi Nyorai by Unkei, the famous 12th. Century sculptor. This very beautiful statue was made when Unkei was about 25 years old.

Enjo-ji

Garden at Enjo-ji

Reading the information about Unkei, we note that a collection of his work is housed in the treasure house at Kofuku-ji temple. We had walked past this temple yesterday.

Forgetting Yagyu, we retrace our steps and re- visit Kofuku-ji. In retrospect this was a sound decision. Kofuku-ji’s entire collection of statues are famous national treasures. The Senju Kannon, a wooden statue standing more than 5 metres tall, is overwhelming.

Tentoki statue

Tentoki, a national treasure, Kofuku-ji

*Enjo-ji ; 400 yen / adult

*Kofukuji Kokuho-kan ; 400 yen /adult

Super Sento Yu La La no Yu

As onsens are not common in Nara, we go to Super Sento Yu La La no Yu. This is a public bath but not natural spring water. It is a huge place and, although the washing stations are plentiful, the baths themselves are uncomfortably overcrowded. Here again, I noted a TV though, this time, not obscuring a magnificent view.

And, although I have visited baths from Kagoshima to Wakkanai, this was the first time I ever saw anyone reading a book in the tub. After the bath, as we are unexpectedly still in Nara, we return to Resuty Karako Kagi for a second night.

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