Friday, no classes for Corban! We were off to Nara….where the deer are everywhere. People had told us to go, it is one of Japan’s top sites. They were right. What a beautiful, peaceful park in the middle of the hustle, bustle city. We went into the largest wooden structure (I think, in the world) to see the huge Buddha statue. How big? The picture doesn’t show it but the pole does! At the end of the tour around the Buddha there is a wooden pole with a hole through the bottom. People line up to crawl through it. (Corban has done it!) Why? The hole is the size of the Buddha’s nostril!!! Perhaps the part that made this trip fun was the students (again) that we met. There must be a nationally issued assignment to all students on a Friday field trip to interview English-speaking tourists! Last Friday we had been stopped at least four times; this looked to be the same. The second group of students ended up “adopting” us. After their English questions, Corban talked with them in Japanese. They invited us to join them and they would show us around! These eleven-year-old elementary students were so cute, polite and helpful. A highlight of the day. More pictures of our day at Nara:
After Nara, on our way back to campus we stopped in Umeda to try to find a power cord. Nope! But we did find a restaurant to experience Shabu shabu! And, it was all you can eat! Well, within two hours! I was done in about 45 minutes. It is called Shabu shabu, which literally translates “swish swish,” because that is what you do and that is what it sort of sounds like. You take the meat or veggie and with chopsticks, swish it around in the hot water or broth until it is cooked then dip it in the sauce of choice! Here are a few pictures:
The city sights are varied and quite interesting (not the columns of the hotel):
Was that the statue of Liberty I saw? Yes! (The French Statue of Liberty came to Odaiba, the beach area of Tokyo since April 1998 until May 1999 in commemoration of “The French year in Japan”. Because of its popularity, in 2000, a replica of the French Statue of Liberty was erected at the same place (Photo). Also in Japan, a small Statue of Liberty is in the Amerika-mura (American Village) shopping district in Osaka, Japan.) Of course, I didn’t find this out until now when I’m looking it up on the internet. And, then there was the cute little car in the store!!!