We cycled along Kamo river and out of Kyoto, past the industrial sprawl and freeway intersections and bypasses, mainly on the pavement in busy traffic, although followed a cyclist in racing gear for a few km on the main road before he turned off.
Industry now interspersed with agriculture and small green and yellow rice fields punctuate grey factories.We turn off the main road and cycle parallel to it through rice fields and lotus ponds, fig orchards. Crossing another railway and back onto route 24 towards Nara.Arrived mid-afternoon and cycled through the park, at first delighted to see wild deer wandering amongst the tourists.
After visiting the Daibutsu-den, hall of the Great Buddha of Nara and largest timber structure until modem times, standing nearly 50m high, and the grounds of Todaiji temple, we became less delighted as they gang-mobbed us, noses in our panniers and pockets, butting and nipping us as they tried to reach our rice-ball lunch.At the tourist office, we were given maps and guides, some in English, and discover the cycle route we could have followed all along the river.
They recommended the most expensive hotel in all Nara, located inside the park before suggesting a more reasonably priced 'business hotel' round the corner in the shopping arcade. No deer.