Many of you might have seen on videos, deers bowing their heads at you when you feed them. These once divine creatures can be seen at Nara Park in Japan headbutting tourists, eating their maps and acting cute when asking for snacks. They almost ate my friend's Kintetsu rail pass and bus ticket in the pocket of my bag. They are naughty creatures in a deer's clothing, don't fall for their innocent looks and puppy deer eyes. Deer sightseeing at Nara park is a fun activity but still. Always be aware!
We went to Nara park across Himuro shrine where the bus dropped us off. The deers there are way cuter, being so gentle to us even though one stole and almost ate my friend's ticket and always sniffing our bags for food. Some deers bow to me before I bow to them, I wanted to crush them with my hug, but I'll just scare them so I kept all my aggression within me.
Near the main entrance of Nara park is where most vendors sell deer crackers for Y150, I wanted to taste them but my friend stopped me. I later knew that we should only be feeding them crackers, and we gave them spicy fish crackers. But hey, they liked it... The deers are aggressive where there are more tourists, one literally followed me once I fed her and the male ones fought when I fed two of them together. They suddenly went near me after I bought deer crackers, I walked away because they were pushing me, I just felt uncomfortable at that moment.
All in all, feeding deers made me feel like a kid again, and their behavior just makes you smile and comfortable. When they crowd around me, I feel loved when the truth is they just want the snacks. Nara park has a wide area with more than a thousand deers seen all around strolling, and victimizing some other tourists too!
I saw deers causing some traffic when crossing the road, there are 4 cars lining up already I thought they would honk but they politely waited for the deer to cross. How nice.
MORE ABOUT NARA PARK
HOW TO GET TO NARA PARK:
Take a train and get down at:
Kintetsu Nara station: It's a 5 minute walk from here and the easiest way to access the park. We thought it was far so we took the Nara Kotsu bus. We bought a Kintetsu Rail pass so we did not need to pay the bus anymore.
JR Nara Station: it's a 20 minute walk from here or you can take the bus.
When you see the deers, you're already at the park.
ACTIVITIES TO DO:
There are many places you can do and see on top of deer sightseeing in the oldest capital in Japan, Nara. Especially if you love cultural and historical sites you will really enjoy this place:
- Feeding deers. For Y150 you can buy deer crackers from the vendors. They're all around the place.
- Visit Himuro shrine, it's just across the road, there are even deers inside here.
- There are other shrines and temples near here if you like cultural things. Like Nara national museum (this one is inside Nara park), Todai-ji temple, Kasuga-Taisha shrine, Kofuku-ji, Isuien garden and the list goes on.
TIPS & OTHERS:
Always be aware in Nara park. Don't let the cute deers' face fool you. They will eat ANYTHING!
- Don't let them see any papers they'll eat it
- Hide all foods you don't want to give them, they'll eat it
- If you feel uncomfortable, just slowly walk away from the deer/s
- Some deers won't bow back if they don't feel like it
- Yes. You can pet them, but always read their moods if they are okay with you touching them
- Their tongues are very soft, like human tongues
- When they lick your hand, you might miss your dog
- Some deers are dirty, maybe they played in the mud or fought roughly
- Even when they are rough with you, always be nice to them. Their the boss!
You don't want to miss visiting this place. Deer sightseeing is very enjoyable, you can interact with them. I appreciate that they're not enclosed in cages, the Japanese let them roam free and branded them as one of Japan's National Treasures. So don't go pissing their deers.
If you plan on visiting the big three tourist spots, Osaka, Nara and Kyoto back and forth, you can buy the Kintetsu Rail Pass. You'll save a lot of cash on fares this way, it includes unlimited train and bus rides in the area depending on the type of pass. Do you want to visit Japan now? Get your visa first!
Have you seen the deers before too? Or are you planning to visit Nara on your next trip to Japan? Nara park is highly recommendable especially for animal lovers!