Photos from the Australian set of Thor: Love and Thunder reveal Melissa McCarthy will be making an appearance as Fake Hela alongside Fake Loki. Photos from the Australian set of Thor: Love and Thunder confirm Melissa McCarthy will be appearing in the film as Fake Hela. McCarthy campaigned for a role in Thor 4 via Instagram earlier this year. The Bridesmaids actress posted a video alongside her ...
Nara, located in the Kansai region of Japan, was formerly known as Heijo and in 710 was established as Japan's first permanent capital. The capital was moved in 784, in large part due to the growing power and ambition of the many Buddhist monasteries located there. The historical treasures of the area remain, however, including some of the oldest and largest temples in Japan.
Like most other cities in Japan, there is folklore around the name of Nara. A variety of theories exist, but the most widely accepted one says that the name came from words and phrases that meant "flat land" or "gentle slope" which described the area's topography. Today Nara is the capital city of Nara Prefecture and is an active center of both government and commerce. Like Awaji, It makes an easy getaway destination from Kyoto and Osaka, both about an hour away.
Visit a site - Nara prefecture is home to three World Heritage Sites, covering multiple locations and sites.
The Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area include a variety of buildings and the surrounding landscape. The structures are some of the oldest surviving wooden buildings in the world and date back to the 7th and 8th centuries. The site consists of over 48 buildings, including monasteries and a pagoda, and are reflective of an important age of Buddhist influence in Japan.
Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara covers eight sites in Nara: five Buddhist temples, one Shinto shrine, Nara palace, and the Kasugayama Primeval Forest (which overlaps a bit with Nara Park, more on that later). These sites include 26 buildings and 53 cultural properties, all recognized as historical sites.
Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range. Multiple locations and paths are included in the site, chosen for their Shinto and Buddhist beliefs and 1,200 years of tradition. Exploring this site will include not only temples and shrines, but also streams, rivers, and waterfalls. A total of 242 elements were selected from the pilgrimage route for inclusion.
Visit Heijo Palace - This was the Imperial Palace during the time Nara was a capital city and was home to the Emperor. It fell into ruin, but in the 1970s excavation began to find the remains, eventually leading the way to a full reconstruction.
See the deer in Nara Park - Home to around 1,200 sika deer, this needs to be on your must-visit list. These are wild deer, freely roaming, and are considered by many to be sacred messengers of the gods (although they were stripped of sacred status after World War II). They are still considered national treasures, though, and are protected. You'll find the deer strolling around the park, walking around the temples, and crossing the street. There are no fences and they have the right of way. You can buy crackers to feed them, making you the most popular person in the park. At least to the hungry ones. Watch your pockets as they're often interested in seeing what you have in them, and remember that while they look cute and sweet, those horns and feet can harm the unsuspecting visitor.
Go to a temple or shrine - Todaji is the temple most people think of as it is the largest wooden building in the world as is home to a 50 foot tall bronze Buddha. Kofukoji Temple and Kasuga Shrine are also located in or around Nara Park. You'll find the deer wandering over to the temples, so you might as well, too.
Walk around Sagaike Pond - Also located in Nara Park, this is a pleasant walk that will take you past gardens, shops, and restaurants. The plum trees were in blossom when I was there, and the gardens were just beginning to get their bloom on. While I saw deer in the gardens, I didn't see them over as far as the pond. This area would be stunning when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.