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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Visiting Hasedera (長谷寺) near Nara—Personal Experience

After viewing this video, I have decided to visit Hasedera (長谷寺) —one of the famous flowers temples in Nara area. From the stock images on Google, Hasedera seems to look even better with blooming flowers in the springtime. For the autumn colors, however, you may also be rewarded with memorable views depending on the timing of visit.

On 12/04/2016, I have visited Hasedera (長谷寺) on a rainy day and, based on a rough estimation, I may have missed the peak autumn colors by 2 weeks. But, as the video's title says, visiting Hasedera in any season, it can offer you tranquility and awesome views of covered walkways, buildings, and Buddha besides flowers and Nature.


Stairs to the Main Hall (本堂)








Main Hall (本堂)







Nice Restaurant in Town Area


For travelers on the road, finding a nice restaurant to rest and relax is the most rewarding experience. Luckily on that day, I was able to find a nice restaurant in the Town area leading to the Temple. I would say this is the most beautiful restaurant that I have ever visited during my 12-day trip in Japan.

Kneeling down on the tatami and surrounded by an amazing garden, I have decided to reward myself with a local cuisine named にゅうめん (nyuumen).

にゅうめん is a kind of somen from Miwa. They are thin as a thread, white as snow. They are eaten with seasonal vegetables in both summers and winters. In summer, they are eaten cold and, in winter, eaten in warm broth.

With my order, it also came with 柿の葉すし (かきの葉ずし / kaki no hazushi). かきの葉ずし is made of rice seasoned with vinegar and slices of salmon or salted mackerel on top. The mackerel used in this food is prepared according to a special method which is kept secret by the people who make it. This is why かきの葉ずし is only available in Nara.

Finally, I have also ordered a Japanese Sake to warm up on that cold rainy day. After tasting Sake the first time on Koyasan,[5,6] I am falling in love with Sake. It tastes sweet and smells fragrant. Best of all, it didn't cause me hangover after drinking it.





References

  1. Nara: Tranquil temples and bountiful blooms (video)
  2. Hase-dera (総本山長谷寺)
  3. Hase-dera (TripAdvisor)
  4. Japan Travel: Eating in Nara (奈良) (Travel for a Purpose)
  5. Japan: Temple Lodging at Mount Koya (or Koyasan 高野山) (Travel for a Purpose)
  6. Temple Lodging in Koyasan—Personal Experience (Travel for a Purpose)

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