We did indeed go to Nara yesterday*, and we were indeed harassed by deer. (*Actually, it was the day before yesterday, but I wrote this last night and I'm posting it first thing in the morning, so I'm just going to pretend it's still yesterday. For y'all in the US, it is!)
Them critters like their cookies! See, Nara has a bunch of historical Buddhist temples. It also has deer that just wander around the parks and temple grounds. You can buy "deer cookies" to feed to them, and they have no fear at all of humans. (The males get their antlers cut off every year to keep them from being a serious danger.) And if you have cookies, you will get mobbed by deer. Fortunately, when you run out, you can hold your hands up empty and they'll lose interest. I just worry that they think we're mocking their lack of fingers and opposable thumbs.
We went to Todai-ji and saw the daibutsu ("big buddha"), which is, indeed, big. Very big. I was struck by the hugeness of the building it's in (possibly the largest wooden structure in the world): it's highly impressive, even today, and it's hard to imagine how much more awe-inspiring it was back when it was the biggest structure anyone would have ever seen.
Jerry fit through the hole in the pillar (it's this thing - if you fit through a hole the size of one of the daibutsu's nostrils, you're guaranteed enlightenment, or summat) and delighted a bunch of Chinese tourists. They did not know that he'd done it before. Greg & Robb got domo-kun-wearing-a-deer-outfit cellphone charms and other trinkets.
We also saw pagodas and other stuff at Kofuku-ji and got out of the metro area enough to actually see trees and open spaces and stuff, which was nice. Even if we did end up accidentally spending $20 extra by getting on the limited express train instead of the regular express. It was a fairly long and tiring day, but a good one.
And then today we went to Denden Town, which is the Akihabara of Osaka. Which is to say, it's a geek mecca. Went to the Gundam store (A whole store! Of Gundam! With a big Gundam fist coming through the wall at the top of the escalator! Which you cannot take pictures of.) and saw a gajillion toys and hunted down some video game stuff that's only available in a place like this (in a store named Super Potato). I played
Oh! And last night, there was an earthquake! Just a little one, in the middle of the night, but I was mostly awake for it, so I remember it.