The Kōfuku-ji and the Five Story Pagoda in Nara

Kōfuku-ji is another millenary temple in Nara and one of the eight Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The site of the temple consisted of more than 50 buildings, though today just a few remain, one of them is the Five Story Pagoda that is also the second tallest in Japan and considered as a symbol of Nara.

I walked a bit around the Kōfuku-ji site for some photos, and honestly, at the moment I didn’t know important that site is just until a few moments later I read the flyer I was given to. At first I thought it was just another temple in Nara, but I think it is important to keep in mind that Nara is the ancient capital, even before Kyoto. So, it shouldn’t be surprising the amount of important sites in that small city.

I few meters below there is a lake with a lot of turtles, I enjoyed a bit of time around that lake, maybe a bit too much because of that I missed other stuff I was planning to visit, but well, vacations. On my way, I got some stamps and I assured my postcards would reach their destinations. And then, passing through another temple that unfortunately I arrived just a few minutes after closing, the Gango-ji Temple.

The Kōfuku-ji and the Five Story Pagoda in Nara
The Kōfuku-ji and the Five Story Pagoda in Nara

With everything else closed, I went back to the lake where I saw an amazing sunset and a few more photos to remember one day later. Nothing else left to do, so I went back to the hostel to write the postcards, and I have to say, even though the hostel was quite nice people staying there weren’t much backpackers-alike, a very awkward silence at the common space, we were like 10 people there reading, writing and no one was talking. Very very awkward, something I didn’t expect at all…

That said, I also didn’t bind with anyone for dinner, so I ended up going alone to the local Food Street looking for some nice food, which I decided to go for some sushi. Japanese people might not have the warmth I am used to, they might not be the best communicators either, but for sure they are helpful! I didn’t manage to get myself understood about what I wanted to eat, so, we both went outside and I just had to point to the plate I was craving for. Most of the restaurants have a plastic representation of the dishes they have available, which is really useful when you are trying to decided where to eat, or, how to order your food

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One thing I learned that night, never ever leave your camera behind! I went for a walk, alone, and that night was full moon! I have no record of that view, but I enjoyed it a lot with my moments of solitude and peace.

By Gil Sousa

Portuguese expat in Cork, traveler and food enthusiastic.

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