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.
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.
I like deer eyelashes. The male deer have their antlers removed, otherwise they’d be causing humans some serious injuries.
DEER BUTTS. (That deer totally knows I’m taking a picture of his butt.)
I think the girl deer are cuter.
There are stalls everywhere selling shika senbei (鹿せんべい). (“Shika” means deer.) Don’t eat them — they’re for the deer!
Even if you’re standing around reading Twitter, the deer will hunt you down. They know you have crackers.
Cute deer face!
Everyone likes feeding the deer.
But the deer can be aggressive. There are signs warning you of this. Here’s a kid getting knocked over by a deer.
But mostly the deer are nice. They just want some rice crackers.
RICE. CRACKERS. NOW.
Here’s Mike, casually being the King of Deer.
Nara is a scenic place. There are a lot of little shops and restaurants across from the park.
My otherwise serene deer photo — ruined.
If you need deer gifts to bring back to your friends, Nara has lots of them.
Fuzzy little deer faces Y U SO ADORABLE??
Heading to Todai-ji, the large temple in Nara Park.
Todai-ji is a famous Buddhist temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Until 1998, Todai-ji was the world’s largest wooden building!
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.
A super cute Hello Kitty phone charm because who can resist Hello Kitty as a deer? NOT ME. (She’s holding a shika senbei.)
The area around Todai-ji is very peaceful.
“Oh hello, I am the Map Deer. Where are you going?”
Just doing what deer do… chewing on metal chains… what?
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.