nara and the deer

March 26th, 2013 / by / in: travel / 1 Response

IMG_4117

This entry is about Nara! If you know anything about Japan, you’ve probably heard of Nara, home of the all-you-can-pet deer buffet. Well, I like petting deer, so off we went. Nara is about 40 minutes from Osaka on the Kintetsu Nara Line (Namba Station to Kintetsu Nara Station). Kintetsu Nara Station is above — it’s closer to Nara Park than Nara Station.

IMG_4006

The first thing you will notice in Nara Park are the DEER! Everywhere! The deer are tame and they roam the park freely. Apparently they’re messengers of the gods or something, so they’ve been protected for hundreds of years and are a symbol of the city.

IMG_4007

I like deer eyelashes. The male deer have their antlers removed, otherwise they’d be causing humans some serious injuries.

IMG_4010

DEER BUTTS. (That deer totally knows I’m taking a picture of his butt.)

IMG_4019

I think the girl deer are cuter.

IMG_4024

There are stalls everywhere selling shika senbei (鹿せんべい). (“Shika” means deer.) Don’t eat them — they’re for the deer!

IMG_4033

Even if you’re standing around reading Twitter, the deer will hunt you down. They know you have crackers.

IMG_4027

Cute deer face!

IMG_4028

Everyone likes feeding the deer.

IMG_4041

But the deer can be aggressive. There are signs warning you of this. Here’s a kid getting knocked over by a deer.

IMG_4043

But mostly the deer are nice. They just want some rice crackers.

IMG_4049

RICE. CRACKERS. NOW.

IMG_4056

Here’s Mike, casually being the King of Deer.

IMG_4057

Nara is a scenic place. There are a lot of little shops and restaurants across from the park.

IMG_4064

My otherwise serene deer photo — ruined.

IMG_4065

Awwwwwwwwww.

IMG_4069

If you need deer gifts to bring back to your friends, Nara has lots of them.

IMG_4071

Fuzzy little deer faces Y U SO ADORABLE??

IMG_4079

Heading to Todai-ji, the large temple in Nara Park.

IMG_4084

Todai-ji is a famous Buddhist temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

IMG_4089

Until 1998, Todai-ji was the world’s largest wooden building!

IMG_4092

Okayyyyyyy, so there’s nothing in this photo for scale, but the Daibutsu is the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha. You’ll just have to believe me — it’s really huge. Massive! Or you know, just go to Nara and see it for yourself.

IMG_4099

A super cute Hello Kitty phone charm because who can resist Hello Kitty as a deer? NOT ME. (She’s holding a shika senbei.)

IMG_4100

The area around Todai-ji is very peaceful.

IMG_4101

“Oh hello, I am the Map Deer. Where are you going?”

IMG_4102

Just doing what deer do… chewing on metal chains… what?

IMG_4115

As you can probably imagine, deer stuff is everywhere in Nara.

So anyway, you should definitely visit Nara if you’re in the Kansai area. It had been on my Japan to do list for awhile and I’m glad I finally got around to going. Even if you don’t like deer (WHAT KIND OF A MONSTER ARE YOU?), you’ll probably still find it interesting. But really. Just pet the deer.

 


1 Comment to nara and the deer

Leave a Reply