Two Tourists in Nara and Osaka

This week on the podcast, a trip to two seats of the Imperial government. Also on the agenda: A really big Buddha statue, plenty of sake, and some very hungry deer.

Featured image: Isaac getting the full Nara experience.


I’m still struggling with my transcription software, so I’ve created a map including all the spots we talked about on this episode.Spots in red are places we wouldn’t recommend as tourist destinations, while green spots are places we recommend stopping.


All photos were taken by us! We were trying to get shots of things Isaac couldn’t easily find on Wikimedia Commons and similar free photo sites.

A doe in Nara that’s decided to cut out the middleman and go straight to the rice cakes.

Double cherry blossoms in front of a temple (I think this was Kōfuku-ji?)

The main building at Tōdai-ji, housing one hell of a big statue.

One of the best views of Osaka Castle from a nearby rooftop cafe.

A cute little mascot witnesses history at the figurine museum.

Isaac found an outpost of American culture: A gashapon machine that dispenses tiny models of Denny’s menu items.

Historical figures at the figurine museum in Osaka.

Figurines at the history museum in Osaka.

A theater scene from the Osaka history museum.

A 1920s street scene at the Osaka history museum.

Double vs. single cherry blossoms. At the center of the double cherry blossom, you can see one of its strangest mutations: Instead of a pistil, these flowers have one or two tiny leaves inside. Trees with this mutation are sterile; they don’t produce fruit and can’t be propagated by seeds. The question of whether the classic single blossom or the showy double blossom was more beautiful apparently caused quite a lot of arguments among poets as the double blossom variety became popular among gardeners across Japan.

A gashapon machine ad starring a figure who’s not exactly known for his love of material possessions.

This gashapon machine was everywhere, even in our airport terminal on the way home. We certainly live in interesting times.

1 thought on “Two Tourists in Nara and Osaka”

  1. Really enjoying your travelogue. As fellow museum nerds appreciate your insight. Planning a trip for next May-June Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya and Nara. So many choices! Our second trip so trying to visit what we missed.
    What in your opinion is a museum and site not to be missed. Other than the Buddha in Nara….and of course your favourite meal …thanks you two.

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