Sunday, March 23, 2008

Nara Friendship Hike

Sorry for the long delay in updating. Aaron was suppose to make this post a week ago but he forgot. Silly guy. So, this post is about our "Friendship hike" we took a while ago in Nara. Oh and Happy Easter Everybody.

This is the day before at Abel's house. He has these cute octopus footstools that we put our hats on to make them look cuter then ever. Aaron is asleep in the background or something.

Here is Katherine hugging her octopus. She thinks they are the cutest thing ever.

Okay so yes, this picture probably looks weird. In Nara there is this huge park and a big temple. There are also a bunch of deer that live there. They are fat, lazy, pushy deer who only want crackers from you. Their antlers have been cut off in a Buddhist ritual. They seriously can go anywhere, and they aren't afraid of anything; not people, not cars, nothing. They even cross the road at the crosswalks and, no joke, we saw them wait for the green light to go before crossing.

Here is one clever deer waiting by a food vendor to get people's scraps. So Odd!!

So, the reason we were at the park was for this fire ritual where they roll these giant flaming poles across the banister of a big temple. It is suppose to be lucky if the ashes fall on you...we were quite far away...see the picture of the crowd above. very popular festival.

okay so onto the hike. So we had to get up really early and travel by train to the tiniest station ever. There we met up with the rest of the group; about 80 other people. We broke up into smaller groups then went in shifts down this 10k hiking trail. This is the very beginning. This is the sake dedicated to a shine where we started.

Here is the view from a hill top overlooking Nara. It was a perfect day!!

Most of the hike was countryside. Lots of mikan (japanese clementine orange) groves. Very pretty seeing all the orchards. Not to mention the amazingly cheap and fresh produce all along the way.

This is Katherine and I at a rest stop that had one of those wood cut-outs. We packed a lunch and ate in the ruins of this old stone building.

A nice view of the mountains.

The very end of the hike was a shrine that was covered in Chickens! Hens and Roosters! They were very pretty oriental type chickens. They just ran free through the whole place. Here are some roosters just hanging out a tree.

They were really crazy! The roosters would run around chasing each others. The best was the way they would crow. It wasn't your normal American "Cocka doodle do.' It was this weird, long drawn-out sort of wail. There is a video of it down at the bottom.

Here is a video of the fire festival. It was kind of hard to see it from our angle

Sorry again for the long delay. We've actually been rather busy. We just went and saw sumo wrestling last weekend in Osaka, so I will post some of the pictures from that soon. It was a crazy match! Both of the yokozuna (top wrestlers) lost their matches. It was so amazing. As soon as the last yokozuna lost, everyone in the place threw their seat cushions down towards the ring.

Happy Easter everyone. Hope you're all doing great.
Much love , kendra and aaron

No comments: