Nara Park, Nara City, Japan

Nara Park is one of the must-see areas in Nara City. The vast area covers 660 hectares and is renowned for its free-roaming deer and world famous temples. Feeding the deer is an attraction in itself and special crackers are on sale all around the park. It encompasses major temples and shrines, including Todaiji Temple, Kohfukuji Temple and Kasugataisha Shrine.Todaiji Temple with its 15m high Buddha is the most prestigious of Nara’s seven great temples and draws a steady stream of visitors.

Nara Park is dotted with ancient Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. Nara Park is an oasis of abundant natural beauty. Since ancient times deer have lived in the park, and their impact on the flora of Nara Park has been significant, giving rise to a unique ecosystem.

The park is inhabited by 236 bucks (male), 715 does (female) and 229 fawns (baby deer), for a total of 1,180 deer. The deer are considered to be divine messengers. They are pretty friendly and you can buy “deer cookies” to feed them if you like. I think it is amazing to pat and feed the deer that approach freely and wander down the walkways, most of them are happy to let you pat.

We encountered a group of school children apparently given the assignment of interviewing English speaking tourists in order to practice their language skills and participated in numerous interviews with enthusiasm, posing for photos. Some of the kids were our kids age and our kids enjoyed their company and were happily playing them. Great place to bring your kids. It was mostly fun to see my son getting all excited feeding the deer. However you will have to always keep an eye on your kids, as there are also aggressive ones. Kids tend to chase them. And aggressive deer attack.

We enjoyed our visit to Nara park and will totally recommend if you in Osaka or Kyoto to go there for a day trip.

 

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