We spent two days in Nara but could have easily spent a week. The quaint little city is full of traditional foods and specialties that are hard to come by in the bigger cities of Japan. The most notable attraction being the roughly 1200 deer that roam freely in the national park.
We walked up Sanjo-Dori street to the Kofuku-ji Shrine and made our way into the park. We watched in awe as cars would stop for the deer when they wanted to cross the street, at the crosswalk nonetheless. Kids laughed as the deer would bow to them for a cracker and then bow and bow again in hopes of getting more treats. The park was insanely busy as is to be expected, so we decided we would come back again in the early morning.
We were out of our rooms by 6am and walking in the quiet misty morning streets of Nara only a few minutes later. We made our way up to an area where we were told many of the deer would be, it was not made clear however that most of them would still be sleeping at this hour. We didn’t mind though, it gave us a great opportunity to get some really candid pictures.
We continued our walk through the park and as the sun began to rise, so did the deer. They came in groups of twenty or more looking for fresh grass to eat for breakfast, the young ones staying close to mothers side as they foraged. They didn’t pay us much attention because we had no crackers and we liked it that way, it felt more natural for us to stand back and watch them do their thing.
Before we knew it, they had finished up and were moving in another direction, the heat was just beginning to get to us and we decided to make our way back to our hotel.
That morning marking the end of our time in Nara, a week would have been better, we only got to explore such a small part of the park and hardly any of the city outside of Sanjo-Dori street. We look forward to coming back one day, hopefully with little foals of our own.