Nara, 45 minutes away from Kyoto, paradise of deer, one-day excursion. This is how it’s possible to sum up the day I spent there. Nara is a quite small city well known because of its huge natural park and beautiful temples all grouped in one place which is really useful for a one day trip. After crossing the bigger road from the train station, the Nara park is full of deers in liberty.
There, you are immersed in another Japan. Deers are everywhere, not scared of you and don’t care about you. They are in their home, you have to pay attention to them not the contrary. Deeper you go in the park more deer you will find. When you are really in the middle of the park you’ll see huge groups of deer moving together. it’s really impressive and beautiful. You’ll be charm by them.
You can find in the park lots of sellers of deer’s food which is basically like biscuits. Deers are fed but when you have food they will follow you and stick to you until you give them food. (it’s better to hide it then if you don’t want to give everything in 3 seconds). It’s really funny to feed them and if you give it to one, the other will see and all of the deer will come around you. Don’t be scared though they are all really nice and don’t bite if you’re careful enough.
You’ll spend a good moment in Nara park hanging out with deers and can see moments of affection between humans and deers. For example, I saw a deer sticking with a grandpa at least half an hour even if he had no food on him. I guess the deer liked it really much.
In Nara Park, there are not just deers, this park is really beautiful in itself and contains a lot of temples which are really famous. The first one is the Todai-Ji temple, really impressive from the outside because of its huge size. Moreover, when you go inside you will see the big buddha, which I honestly didn’t expect to be that big. In the entrance of the temple there is the biggest buddha and then two others smaller one (but still really impressive) in gold. There are so big that you can’t take pictures easily. You have to take some distance from the buddhas to take them in a picture and I couldn’t get all of the three together.
More deeply in the park there is a path of columns, really beautiful to get to another temple. The temple in itself is not impressive but the way to go there is really beautiful. It’s really worth it and if it’s sunny you’ll get good lights on the deers, which are running around you or hiding behind the columns.
Oh! I forgot to mention something about the deers, even if they are really cute and you want to bring them at home, be aware that they are eating EVERYTHING. They are eating your hairs, your map, the fences, everything with looks funny to take away. If they are taking something from you good luck to take it back… A Chinese tourist try to get back its map for more than 20 minutes… at the end he failed… deers can be really fast when they want to do so!
Finally what is funny in Nara is that everything is related to deer even food, souvenirs, hats, everything… It’s really Japanese style and I personally think that’s awesome. Even the little placard in temples where you can make a wish are shaped with the head of deers! Incredible right?
Just more cuty deers to enjoy!