It was 23 November, Labour Thanksgiving Day (勤労感謝の日 Kinrō kansha no hi). It is a national holiday in Japan. Mrs Lepage need not work on that day so she offered to take us to a temple and a shrine in the Nara prefecture. We were so grateful to have her as our guide for we often encountered with communication problem whenever we wanted to ask for directions.
Kintetsu Train in the Kansai region
This is a cafe, serving green tea cuisine.
The Nio gate
Hasedera-ji (長谷寺) is located in Sakurai, Nara. It is the main temple of Buzan sect of Shingon Buddhism.
The 200-metre long wooden staircase (登廊 noboriro), made of 399 small stone steps, leading to the main hall from the Nio gate.
Ming Na the hitch-hiker
Japanese Zen Sand Garden
Zen Gardens are created as an aid to meditation, where nature is suggested by using only stones, raked gravel and minimum amount of plants.
Tsukemono (pickled food -漬物) shops
Grilled green tea mochi
Skewered Konnyaku (串蒟蒻/菎蒻; こんにゃく)
Flavoured Rice Buns
Kakinoha (Persimmon leaf) Sushi (柿の葉寿司)
Kakinoha Sushi topped with marinated saba slice
Kakinoha Sushi topped with smoked salmon slice