“ We Will Return to Nara ”
We had a great time in the beautiful city of Nara in large part due to Michiko. Our time in Nara was limited to 5 hours but we saw a lot and it was enough of a look to know we want to return soon. Michiko was a delightful guide and we enjoyed our time with her. She started the day by giving us cute wooden bus passes that we used several times during our visit. Our first stop was a visit to Kofukuji and the interesting Kofukuji National Treasure Museum which helped get us into the right mindset for the day. Michiko guided us expertly through this wonderful museum. She was full of information and seemed to instinctively know where we wanted to linger and where we could move on. She took us through and around the temple grounds to give us different perspectives of the property and buildings. Michiko made good use of all of our time and even squeezed in an "extra" stop at a hidden linen shop before an early and delicious lunch. Next, we were on to another short bus ride to see more deer and the beautiful Todaiji Temple. The massive Buddha in the main hall is quite a sight and not to be missed! Michiko explained numerous details that added color and to our understanding of what we were seeing. Michiko is quick without rushing, she easily walks backwards while sharing information about the areas we are about to enter and amazingly slips through the crowds of people. She patiently waited as my knees slowed us down a bit at the steps and took us on a less steep way into Kasuga Taisha. Once there, she painted a picture in our minds of the darkness of the area and what it would look like when the lanterns are lit like they are a few times a year. All too soon, it was time to head back to the train station but we felt we had seen and learned a lot. We were back to the station by bus right on time and we didn't have to wait for the train. We even had time to stop to see Fushimi Inari on our way back to Kyoto. It was a great day!