Closer to nature at Nara Deer Park
Ever thought of getting really close to one of nature’s most docile animals – Deers ? Well … if one is somewhere around Osaka or Kyoto, it might be worth to make a side trip to Nara. It will probably take you about 40min from either way.
The Nara deers, symbol of the city roams freely about this area, no fence, no enclosures, or anything. Almost exceptionally tame to humans most of the time … that is until one gets one of the deer crackers peddled by the street hawkers … or in fact just about any other type of food that one has in your hand … then one would start attracting deers to your food … LOL. Then it would depends on each deer’s personality with some that are really Go-Get-It type, and others Please-Can-I-Have-It type … many types there are wahaha!This photo above was taken when I have had no food in hand thank goodness …hahaha!
Now I have a deer right at my butt following me … I forgot what I had in my hands but it was not deer crackers (which by the way … tasted bland …. I took a small bite of it …LOL!) Human food must have tasted real good to it to have followed me all around, tugging at my sweater to get the food, and even successfully sneek a bite onto my kiddo girl’s waffer or was it ice-cream when she wasn’t looking 😀
The deers are just one of the attraction that is sure to garner the attention of children and adults alike. But there is more to this place than just the deers. Though one must really be prepared for a jolly-good walking time. Just for the records, I didn’t managed to cover all the scenic sites in this area. By the time I was done with two sites, I was almost done for the day … a lunch break didn’t help as it just weigh down the feets more ROFL !!!
There is really lots of walking to do, not much seats around other than those in the restaurants …. But if you have the energy, go past the Nandaimon Gate to Todaiji Temple. I can’t be sure of the scenery in other seasons but Autumn will definitely be good.Not too far away is the Kasuga Taisha shrine, where many Japanese people were there to I think ‘buy’ a divination lot for luck ? Not sure how it works in this local context, but we caught a nice photo of a young little girl in kimono with her parents at the shrine, likely to be praying to her health and study luck I suppose 🙂 There were at various places stacks of stones like the one seen in the photo below … where similar practices can be found in Korea and many other Western countries, but its significance is likely to be more Eastern. I drew the perception that it is likely to be a form of worshipping, a token to the shrine to ask for good fortune, or even a memory of a deceased family member. I am not entirely sure though, but if anyone knows more about the significance of this stone-stacking, feel free to comment 😉
More scenic photos below. I am not sure if there are cherry blossoms during Spring, but if there is, it could be another fantastic period to visit Nara Park.