Deer Mafia in Nara

If you think all deer are innocent beautiful creatures like Bambi, a visit in Nara will make you reconsider. I recommend Nara to all my friends. It should be a must-see item on everyone’s bucketlist. Not only do you get to see beautiful shrines and temples amid lush nature, you also get to interact with deer and by interact I mean try to feed one, get surrounded by many, get bitten on your behind and try to get away from them while they follow you begging for more deer-cookies and bowing their heads Japanese style. What a fun day!

Nara is one of my favorite destinations. We went there twice and I wouldn’t mind a third visit. The town is pretty small and it is easy to walk to the park from the station. You can get a city map at the information counter which shows you the best walking route. Most of the attractions are located in the park and surrounded by crowds of tourist and deer. The tourists start to disappear when you get deeper into the park since most come to visit the Todaiji Temple (東大寺, Tōdaiji, “Great Eastern Temple”), the deer on the other hand are everywhere. And I love it!

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How to visit 7/6 Japanese cities in 5 days

Sounds crazy, right? But if you have very limited time and want to see as much as you can it is possible to visit Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kōbe, Himeji and Hiroshima/Miyajima in just 5 days! While you might need 5 days just for Kyoto alone, if you are visiting for a second time or want to see as much of the region as possible, you might try my crazy itinerary.

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Gyeongju, Bulguksa and Seokguram

If you are thinking on visiting some other places rather than Seoul, Gyeongju (경주시) might be a good choice. The city offers many historical sites from the Silla Dynasty such as Seokguram Grotto, Bulguksa temple, the Royal Tomb Complex, the Cheomseongdae, which is one of the oldest astronomical observatories in East Asia and the Anapji royal pond garden. I have been to all of these sites before and they are all interesting, but if you have limited time, I recommend visiting these three: Anapji, Seokguram and Bulguksa. I wish I had photos of all of these attractions, but the first time I was there I had a really old camera and the photos are not presentable. This time we picked the day with the worst weather and it was raining cat’s and dog’s by the time we were finished with Seokguram and on our way to the Tombs. All sights are in the open and it was not worth getting soaked in the rain.

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Bar Hopping in Hongdae

Day 4

Dongdaemun, Han River, Hongdae

Blogging about our vacation makes me want to go back there. I wish we had more time and did more sightseeing on the last day in Seoul, but my mom was tired, the weather wasn’t all that good and we had to meet our friends.

We started by eating in an Italian restaurant in front of our hotel. There are some really great places around Seoullo! I had Squid Ink spaghetti for the first time. It was unexpectedly delicious. Probably the best spaghetti I ever had! I cannot remember the name of the place, but it is located in front of the Seoul Station. There are other restaurants and cafes in there (great burgers too!), so it is worth a look if you are visiting Seoullo 7017 (18, Toegye-ro, Jung-gu | Daewoo Jaedan Bldg., Seoul 04637, Südkorea).

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Gangnam Style

Day 3

The other side of the river

COEX, Lotte World Tower, Gangnam

I wish we would have done something different instead of going to COEX, but I wanted to visit an aquarium with my mom. To be honest, COEX is not the best choice, although they do have some impressive sea life in there, but I think a lot of the fish tanks are too small. I honestly felt bad for all the animals at some point. COEX itself contains convention centers and exhibition halls as well as a shopping mall with a lot of restaurants. It is easy to find, there are two subway stations which come in question:

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