Ashley and I had heard from a lot of people that a day trip to Nara Japan was worth the time. It sounded like another round of temples but we decided to go and give it a shot for something different. Getting there was really straight forward. You can hop on the metro anywhere in the city and with a couple changes be heading towards Nara Japan. In total the trip took around 45 minutes or so by train so it was just as easy to get to Nara as Kyoto Japan or Kobe Japan.
Upon arriving there’s a street that leads up towards the shrines in the area. We wandered around here for a bit and found a place to grab some Udon noodles for lunch. They server the noodles in a pretty massive bowl.
After lunch we made our way up towards the temples. We snapped a few photos along the way and then moved on towards a larger temple. On the way there we came up to an open park area. There were tons of deer hanging out in this park just waiting for tourists to feed them. A little Japanese lady was there selling biscuits for the deer. The biscuits were basically just little oat type wafers. It cost about $2 to buy a decent stack so we grabbed a few and went to work.
Shortly after we got the biscuits the deer started to get very aggressive. I put them in my pocket and took a few brisk steps to try and clear the area where the deer were hanging out. With 2 deer in hot pursuit, one of them was able to figure out (smell probably) which pocket I had the biscuits in. It started grabbing for my pockets as I was walking at a pretty good speed and was grabbing my shit with it’s mouth. At this point I decide to pull out a biscuit so I can give him one and he’ll move on. I drop it on the ground and keep moving.
It’s at this point I realize what a big mistake I have made. The 1 or 2 deer following me have now called all their friends and let them know they found a sucker. I’ve got about 8 more biscuits to go and they’re ready to take me down. I’m now surrounded by deer even as I walk quickly away from them. I start handing out half biscuits at a time which quickly becomes full biscuits until I just drop them all on the ground and walk away. By the time I get out of the pack I have deer slobber all over my shirt and all of my shorts. My shirt looks muddy from who knows what was in their mouths when they bit me.
Once the aggressive ones were out of the picture and we had no more biscuits left to give, Ashley and I were able to get some good photo ops with some of the deer just relaxing in the park. Overall, the experience with the deer was really an excellent one! There were hundreds of deer all over the area and most were generally tame.
After we moved past this first park with the deer, we realized the extent of how many deer were actually here. This was just the first park on our day trip to Nara that was full of deer. At each little park there were little stands to buy the biscuits and the deer have been very well trained to know they can just wait around for the tourists to come in and feed them. It’s a give and take and it makes for some good photo ops.
We finally made our way to one of the largest temples in Nara. Ashley and I are both a little temple’d out at this point but we decide to pay the $5 to get in and grab out tickets. We round the corner and we are both like WHOA! This was the largest and most impressive one we have seen yet. It’s hard to fully capture it in photos but it was very impressive.
Upon entering there was an absolutely massive statue of Buddha that took up almost the entire thing. It sat so tall that it extended up to the 2nd part of the temple. We were both very impressive by the temple and the statue!
We spent the rest of the way wandering around the other temples/shrines all over Nara. Our day trip to Nara was absolutely worth it and we’d highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about it.