Kasuga Jinsha

After these three wonders of Nara we must mention the no less antique Kasuga Shrine, founded by the Fujiwara family in 710 A.D., and consecrated to a mythological ancestor of the great family. The deer of Nara are the guardians of this shrine. The gorgeous tricolor scheme--deep vermilion red, white and blue -- ever associated with the Kasuga shrine, -- in which its wooden walls and lanterns are often painted, constitutes the only exception in the austere simplicity of no distinctive color which characterizes the decorative scheme of all other Shinto shrines. It has deeply influenced the Japanese art and color scheme. Then there are Kōfukuji, Nigatsudō and Sangatsudō and other ancient temples and shrines, many of whose treasures, hidden in their recesses, still remain unexplored.

Not the least attraction of Nara is its hotel-the only foreign-style hotel in Nara, managed by the Government Railways. It is housed in attractive architecture worthy of the old capital, with its Japanese exterior and its up-to-date Western appointments and management. Situated right in the middle of the park, with its back screened by a range of hills, it gives every facility the visitor may need. There is a fine drive up the several peaks of Mt. Kasuga, called Okuyama-meguri, which has recently been opened up as a motor drive. From the balcony of the hotel, or from up the hill-side one obtains a splendid view of the province of Yamato, of which Nara is the chief city.

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