Today I’m making a day trip to Nara, the famous land of roaming deers and beautiful nature. If you’re ever in Japan, make sure you add Nara into your itinerary.
For myself, I’m looking forward to a good escape from all the shopping and bars in Osaka. Right now it’s nearing the end of autumn and there’s still some fall foliage on the trees to take photos with.
To get to Nara Park, make your way to Nara station on the Kintetsu Railway Network. Be sure to catch the rapid express train to Nara Station to save a lot of time. If you catch the slow local, it will probably take you at least twice the time to get there because you’ll be stopping at every stop and will have to transfer at the end.
When you arrive at Nara Station, take the exit at Gate 2 for Nara Park.
The moment I got up the stairs, turned right, and walked up about a block, I was met with a wandering deer! I didn’t expect to see one so soon! What a pleasant surprise. Apparently it’s normal for locals to see deers everywhere, even some seen crossing the roads.
I heard from another traveller that they are allowing you to keep a deer by paying only 1500 yen due to the high population count in the region, but I haven’t fact checked this.
Nara Park is only a short distance away from the station and it has a circular trail where you can visit all of the deers that roam freely in this park. Even better though, for 200 yen you’re able to buy biscuits that are deer friendly from the vendors and feed them!
Below are some feeding tips. Be sure to follow them because they can be a little aggressive by bumping you from behind or nibbling at your clothes! They are used to being around humans so don’t worry, it’s totally safe.
Something fun you can try doing is bowing your head to the deer before you feed it! They will bow their head in response for your yummy biscuit.
Make sure not to tease them because they can become aggressive. If you don’t have any food, signal it by showing both your open palms.
I really enjoyed my time with the deers and was well worth the day trip to Nara. It was one of the highlights of the country!
Oh and one more thing, you’re probably going to step on a lot of poop there. Have a place planned where you can wash and dry your shoes after 🙂 For me it was at my AirBnb
Around the park is a temple that has a tall pagoda, a shrine and gorgeous trees. It’s a neat place to pray and take photos.
Once you’re done with this area, be sure to walk the nearby streets. They are lined with small local shops like this one, where you can watch people make mochi the traditional way with wooden hammers, muscles, and speed!
Did you know Japan is also famous for their strawberries? Don’t forget to try the strawberries around the area. They are sweet! The light pink ones supposedly taste the sweetest, but I skipped them because they are very expensive.
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