Nara Travel and Bento

Nara Theme Bento Lunch

The city of Nara is next in my series of travel photos and bento inspired by my trip to Japan. My Mom and I visited Nara as a day trip from Kyoto.

I laughed out loud at the results of my Great Buddah quesadilla. It does seem funny to make a Buddha quesadilla. I served it to my 15 year old niece for lunch at my house.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: 2 deer shaped tortillas browned in a skillet with cooking spray, raw green beans

Bottom Left: Blueberry yogurt with toasted hazelnuts

Right Side: Buddha quesadilla with food marker details, another quesadilla behind with blue food coloring and water painted on then blotted with a paper towel

Inspiration photo for my Buddha Bento
Nara Buddha

Nara is a common day trip from Kyoto. I reserved a free Goodwill Guide from the YMCA in Nara. It is a wonderful service that matches English speaking volunteer guides with tourists. I arranged via email a guide for the day and time we wanted. Our guide met us at the JR station in Nara. We toured with her in the morning. She was very knowledgeable about the sites and culture.

Latte Art Bento

In this bento I attempted to depict latte art with almond butter and dry milk powder. I made a stencil from a photo of our latte art we enjoyed in Nara. It is an open faced sandwich but the other piece of bread fit nicely under the top one so I ate it by putting both of them together. It probably would have looked better if I did not use an English muffin and used a smoother surface.

Container: Kokeshi box

Top Tier: Dried cherries and apricots

Middle Tier: Toasted English muffin with almond butter, dried milk powder

Bottom Tier: Salad of lettuce and carrots

Inspiration photo for my Latte Art Bento
Actual Moon Sun Latte Art

Our guide picked us up at the Nara station and drove us around in her car. It was my Mom’s first (and only) time in a car in Japan. It is a slightly difference experience because they drive on the opposite side of the road than they do in the United States.

Wall in Nara

Wall in Nara

Deer eating vegetables

Deer Eating Vegetables

Our guide brought vegetable scraps from her home to feed the deer. Traditionally in Nara people can buy rice crackers and make the deer bow their heads. Some deer bowed for the vegetable peelings. I also saw a deer bow her head when I did not have food with me.

Sign Warning about Deer

Possible Actions Deer May Take

The deer in Nara are known for being slightly aggressive in search of food. This sign warns visitors that the deer can bite, kick, butt, and knock down people. I did see many people carry their dogs past the deer. It is probably best not to bring your dog to Nara.

Young deer Nara

Young Deer Nara

Nara Buddah Building


Our guide shared with us the spiritual aspects of visiting this temple. She also shared information about how they clean the Buddha and showed us photos from a book. It made the whole experience more meaningful having a person tell us details that we may have otherwise been unaware.

Nara Steps Buddha Hall

Steps of Todai-ji

Side of Big Buddha

World’s Largest Bronze Statue of the Buddha Vairocana

Inside Buddha Hall

Komokuten, One of the Pair of Guardians

Carved Heads

Inside Todai-ji

Reflection Nara

Reflection in Nara

Deer in Nara

Deer in Nara

Kid with Deer Nara

Kid with Deer Nara

We also visited the Isuien Garden. It was on the list of things we wanted to see with our guide. It is such an amazing, beautiful place. Words or photos do not do it justice.

Isuien Garden Nara

Isuien Garden Nara

Pink Flowers Nara

Pink Flowers Nara

Winter Trees

Komomaki (Pest Control) During Winter

These trees have what is called komomaki (straw covers). They are used in the winter. The Pine Moth goes into the straw and in the spring gardeners remove the straw and burn it, eliminating the Pine Moth. A detailed explanation about komomaki is here.

Isuien Garden View

Isuien Garden View

Pine Needle Pattern

Pine Needle Pattern

I was impressed by this pattern made with pine needles. I do not know if this is typical to see in Japanese gardens but I don’t think I had seen it before.

Isuien Garden Walking Steps

Walking Up Steps in Isuien Garden

Cover at Pond

Cover at Pond

White Plum Blossoms

White Plum Blossoms

In the afternoon my Mom and I met my language exchange partner who lived within a day trip from Nara. It was so wonderful to spend time in person with her instead of speaking via Skype! Since she knew I was interested in Japanese latte art, she found a cafe in Nara for us to have coffee. The coffee and dessert were so cute and delicious!

Nara Latte Art

Nara Latte Art

Swan Latte Art

Beautiful Swan Latte Art


Beautifully Plated Cake


Gorgeous Dessert

Crepe Cake

Strawberries and Cream Crepe Cake

Buddhist Residence in Nara

Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

Early Spring Blooms

Early Spring Blooms

Planter in Nara

Planter in Nara

We had a wonderful day in Nara. If you have the chance to visit Nara I recommend it.

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About eclecticlamb
This entry was posted in Adventures, Bento / Cute Food, Food and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Nara Travel and Bento

  1. coconutcraze says:

    Beautiful pictures…you have given all the different scenes in Nara by these photos. Latte art is lovely!

  2. bentodays says:

    Lovely bentos and beautiful photos! Thank you for introducing Nara!

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