While staying in Kyoto, we took a day trip to the town of Nara, a former capital city of Japan. We were strongly encouraged by several friends to include Nara on our Japan itinerary and we are very glad we did. The town is full of temples and has a very chill vibe. We visited several beautiful temples and had a great time wandering the streets of old-town Nara. This is also where we saw the yomogo mochi machine that was featured in in the latest round of What is it??.
Here are some photo highlights from our visit:
The five-story pagoda of Kofuku-ji is seen in the background of an object that we actually can’t identify.
One of the many deer that wander the temple grounds in Nara. They seem to be fearless of humans and wandered right up to us.
This main hall of the Todai-ji temple complex is the world’s largest wooden building. This place was one of the most impressive sights of our entire trip.
A huge Buddha — and Japan’s largest bronze statue — sits within the building pictured above.
Lanterns along the large wooden terrace of Nigatsu-do.
After a brief hiatus, Allison springs back into action and wins the eighth round of “What is it??”. Yes, the delicacy being produced here is Yomogi Mochi, also known as Kusa Mochi. We found this machine in Nara, Japan with an audience of spectators and patrons. As Allison noted, Yomogi Mochi is infused with mugwort, which gives it its green color, and inside was a sweet red bean paste. Tasty!
Also note that this machine represents a huge advancement in the production of Yomogi Mochi, and is far safer and less tiring than the traditional method: