Tom Butt
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  Dispatch from Japan - Part 4, Nara and Kyoto
October 13, 2022

On Thursday morning, we were driven from Hakone to Odawara Station where we caught the bullet train to Kyoto. I first rode this same train in 1970 (, pages 126-131). It’s amazing that the Japanese have had this for some 60 years, and we are still arguing about it in California. The ride is so smooth that you would not know you were moving if you didn’t see it. I thought of my rides on the Capitol Corridor, while pleasant, are primitive in comparison – always late, slow and jerky.

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Figure 1 - Waiting for the bullet train

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Figure 2 - Rice paddies from the bullet train

Figure 3 - Kyoto Station

Figure 4 - Entry to Todaiji Temple

Figure 5 - Must have been a thousand students on field trips

Figure 6 - The largest bronze Buddha

Figure 7 - Guarding the Buddha

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Figure 8 - This is what happens if you feed the deer

Figure 9 – Kofukuji Temple

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Figure 10 – Kofukuji Temple

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Figure 11 - Leaving Nara

We met a new guide at Kyoto station, picked up a lunch to go, and boarded a local train to Nara. There was only one destination in Nara, the Todaiji Temple complex in Nara Deer Park. The temple dates from the 8th Century, has the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue in the world’s largest wood building (not sure if this is still true in this time of high-rise timber construction). Deer Park has hundreds of tame deer roaming around looking for a handout. They are a centuries-old tradition.

From Nara, we took the train back to Kyoto. Our hotel for the next two days is very upscale and across the street from train station.

Today in Kyoto is our last day in Japan.