Nara City – history, deer, and a flaming mountain

This weekend we took a westbound train across the mountains to visit the city of Nara. Having been the capital of Japan from 710-784 (no, I’m not missing a digit there, I really mean the 8th century), the city is rich in history and cultural heritage. It was difficult to really get a grip on the scope of the history – I was contemplating this as I read the sign in front of the Five Storied Pagoda explaining that the original building was built in 700-something, but regrettably the one before me was a reconstruction dating from 1400-something. In the 1400s, my country was still an unknown “New World”, possibly off the edge of a flat world – and here, they were already rebuilding massive structures of historical significance. Incredible.
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