Friday, April 10, 2015

our last few days...

Our last couple of days in Kyoto were great.   I thought our kids would be crazy grumpy and so sick of shrines.  they were only moderately grumpy and could still be bribed with McDonalds to go semi willingly to see what we wanted to see!

we planned an excursion out to Nara at the end of our trip because we knew it would be a little more exciting for everybody.  It's a city near Kyoto that is completely deer infested!!!  the animals in Japan are my favorite.  I think the only place we haven't seen now is the rabbit infested island!!

metta had no idea this was a deer standing behind her!! it tried to nibble on her and she shrieked and ran.  It was funny.
the deer are regarded as sacred so they don't do much to get rid of them.   And they are so used to people and being fed- that they can get a little too up close and personal! 
 it was all fun and games until one tried to eat Mack! and my bum.  For real- they bite at your bum.  You have to run to get away!!
they've always got their tongues out looking for food, too.

some older women selling deer snacks snatched mack out of my hands while we played with the deer. he loved the attention.
the little new ones were the cutest and tamest.  Some of the older bigger ones looked pretty ratty.
metta stopped enjoying it once they wanted her piggies and her fingers!

this wooden shrine is HUMONGOUS. the picture makes it seem smaller than it really is!  It houses two HUGE statues.  A buddha- and another one.
poor little Ike's facial wounds.  the japanese were overly concerned about it EVERYwhere we went!!
My peace sign had either just disappeared or was about to happen.  that's why it looks like I'm fist bumping the air :)
In the rear of the big shrine is a huge wooden beam with a small hole cut out the bottom.  It's said that if you squeeze through- you'll bring yourself and family good luck and health. Our kids will live forever thanks to all of this good luck and health we've been getting in japan!!
this is as far as Kent got! One arm and half his chest.  the japanese giggled! of course :) they love to giggle.

most of the big sites in Nara are all in a huge city wide park.  there are trails and spots to eat and places to buy souvenirs.  We walked a lot!
here's another deer tongue
Have I mentioned that the deer were EVERYwhere??

we saw this dad with his two boys in nara.  They are the Japanese version of Zeb and Ike!  star wars shirts and check out their hats! "UTAR SALT FLATS".  The misspelled words and funny translations  here are fabulous!  

we think this sign was about deer getting run over. they line some of the areas with roads.  the poor deer who lose their friends!!
After our return trip 'home' to our apt from Nara- we went to a night illumination at the castle in Kyoto.  It was awesome.  they light up the inside walls of the castle with movies and light shows that play with music.  It was pretty magical!

Our last day in Kyoto we spent the morning at Sanjusangendo and Kiyomizu dera.
we loved the grounds of sanjusangendo- but pictures weren't allowed to be taken inside the great hall.
Here's an internet picture of the inside! 1000 golden kannon statues are in the long hall. they went on and on and on! the statues were built in the 12th and 13th centuries! Japan has such an amazing history.   This place was awesome.  I REALLY wanted to to take pictures.  it KILLED me to not!

Our last stop- Kiyomizu dera was up a LONG STEEP road! and then when we got to the top- most of it was covered in scaffolding :(  The giant orange pagoda out front was completely uncovered- and made for the best pictures anyway.

we did get to rinse our hands and mouths with the sacred water here at kiyomizu dera!  this is me trying to make sure the kids don't drop their water reachers down into the pond! zeb almost lost his and caught it at the last moment! it made a loud clang against the stone and all of the people gasped! quickly followed by giggles.  thank heavens for the Japanese giggles. it helps me fit in a little better since I also tend to giggle at inappropriate times and when people do awkward things!!
I forgot to add this picture to our apartment post!  it's on the wall outside the bathroom.  Kent thinks the idea is genius. I disagree.  sitting naked on a stool OUTSIDE of the bathtub is cold and annoying! and I don't really plan on sharing my bathwater with anybody unless I go first!!!

we absolutely LOVED kyoto.  Such an enchanting city!!  

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