Nara and the poor deer

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nara and the poor deer

Almost a year has passed since we landed in Japan, and we have visited many places, but we still haven’t gone to Nara and seen the famous deers.

So we jumped on the train and headed east. We didn’t really have anything specific we wanted to see or do in Nara. But obviously the tame Sika deer were on our list.

When we arrived it was near lunch time, so we decided to get something to eat before starting exploring Nara Park.

Kō-dō

After we had finished our Kushikatsu lunch, we began walking around Nara Park. As with most historical places in Japan, there are a lot of things to see, and we couldn’t possibly cover them all here.

But with it being the height of tourist season, I started to give up on taking any good photos after a while, and focused more on just enjoying the sights… So let’s find those deer.

resting deer

I forgot to mention it was a really warm day for early April, and maybe that was a contributing factor to my opinion about the deer in Nara… But I found the experience to be pretty comical, and a bit sad.

Every hundred metres or so there are vendors selling crackers for people to feed to the deer. It’s the busiest season of the year, with people everywhere on a scorching hot day. Most of the deer were laying in the shade, trying to survive the heat. Then they get assaulted by tourists, Japanese and foreign, trying to feed them crackers.

Luckily we managed to find some deer further away from the crowds, who decided to pose for a photo as we were walking past. Thanks Sika-chan!

megu and deer

After hanging out with Sika-chan we went through the Great South Gate of Tōdaiji, and ate some shaved ice to cool down. The gate was first built during the Nara period, when the city was the capital of Japan.

Nandaimon Gate of Tōdaiji

The gate that stands there today was built between 1199 and 1203, and it’s a really impressive sight when you approach it. Walking through it makes you feel like a miniature.

After walking around Nara Park some more we were feeling quite tired, so we decided to go somewhere a bit less crowded to relax a bit more.

hanging flowers

Overall not a bad trip to Nara. But after going in and out of shrines, temples, museums, dodging cracker wielding tourists.. we were feeling exhausted.

Next time we will go in the off season, and try to arrive earlier in the day..

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