Nara has got to be one of the most beautiful drives in Kansai and this is especially true in the fall. Heading out on Route 165 east of Sakurai towards Muro-ji is the focus of this fourth installment and will also be the theme of one or two near-future postings which discuss Hase-dera and Muro-ji on route. A little farther south from there will take you right down to Yoshino, a favorite spot for my wife and I.
Most of the time it’s stop-and-go traffic – the road really isn’t in that great of condition. From Muro-ji to Yoshino the road is quite treacherous in bad weather, and motorcycle enthusiasts need to be extra careful. If you like driving, it still adds to the charm when you realize that many of the sites in the area were popular visiting spots long before there were cars and pavement! Then we wonder, was the train really that much earlier? Fifty, perhaps sixty years before cars? From the times these great temple monuments were built, that sixty years difference is a drop in the bucket!
There is a real feeling of ancient tradition in Nara. So much of it is evident in Nara City, places easily reached by Kintetsu out of both Namba in Osaka and Karasuma in Kyoto. I often recommend to the English Conversation students at the Smith’s School of English in Kotoen スミス英会話 甲東園 to make the effort and get out to visit. It’s so easy to get caught up in the issues surrounding life and we might forget about the wonders around us.
This photo was taken in a previous year, and it is probable that right now is still a wee bit early. My guess is the optimum time will be toward the middle of November when the difference between the daytime temperature high and the nighttime low exceeds 10 degrees Celsius.
Martin Werner Zander
Smith’s School in Kotoen 月謝制 Real Monthly Tuition School