Most of the trip’s itinerary was based one some vague memory of the little preparing I had done, city names I had taken made a mental note of without remembering why. Nara was such a case: I knew it was supposed to be a nice place, but I had no idea why. Turns out that it is famous for the absurd number of free-ranging deer in the city.

So many deer in Nara

Hello there

When we checked in to our hostel, they helpfully pointed out that there was a temple in the area, a place to see fireflies and (the Japanese girl checking us in circled this on the map) a speciality: Oktoberfest. We walked by there on the way to the city and saw terrible German Oktoberfest bands play to standing ovations, saw beer tends and happy drinkers, someone even walked by me and shouted “Schweinsteiger”. No idea why Germans have a reputation for being uptight.

At the temple

Shanti shanti

Inside. They have free tea.

Don't do that