Nara Park, Nara

4.5 out of 5 stars 29 Reviews

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  • Nara Park in Spring
    Nara Park in Spring
    by Rabbityama
  • Deer Eating Sakura
    Deer Eating Sakura
    by Rabbityama
  • Nara Park
    by hebaemam
  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Pet and Feed the Nara Deer

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Dec 28, 2014

    Nara is home to several thousand sika deer, or spotted deer, many of whom are as tame as house pets, allowing visitors to feed and pet them, as well as take photographs with them. Buy some "shika sembei" (deer biscuits) to give the animals a healthy treat, but be warned, they may try to steal other snacks from your pockets, like papers and candy.

    In Nara, the deer are believed to be messengers of Shinto gods, so they are revered and protected.

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  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Nara Park

    by IreneMcKay Written May 6, 2014

    Many of Nara's sights such as: Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Kofukuji Temple and the Nara National Museum are located in Nara Park. This park dates from 1880.

    Nara Park is filled with hundreds of freely roaming deer. In the Shinto religion deer are believed to be messengers of the gods. Deer have come to be the symbol of Nara.

    Nara Park. Nara Park. Nara Park.
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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Nara Koen

    by Jim_Eliason Written Jun 7, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Nara park is a huge city park in which the major historic sites of Nara are preserved. The park is also home to a large population of deer that are considered sacred. The deer are quite tame and numurous vendors sell food to feed the deer.

    Nara Koen Nara Koen Nara Koen Nara Koen Nara Koen
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  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo

    One of Japan's Famous Deer Parks

    by Rabbityama Updated Apr 16, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Nara Park and Miyajima are probably Japan's most famous places to see, pet, and feed deer! The park itself is rather ordinary and unspectacular (not counting all of the historical sites within and around it!), yet because of all the deer, many visitors consider it a "must-see" place in Japan and indeed it's worth a walk around. Most people visit the most convenient part, outside Todaiji Temple and the National Museum area but Nara Park is much larger than that and those areas are often also more scenic.

    The deer roam around the park freely; there are no pens or gates to keep them in or out, so they sometimes cause problems for drivers when they walk out onto the road, but for visitors it is fun to see deer so tame! It is fun to purchase some deer senbei (often called "deer cookies") for 150 yen to feed the deer. Overall, the park is cheap fun and its right in the middle of all the attractions, so its certainly worth at least a walk-through!

    Deer Eating Sakura One of the many deer in Nara Nara Park in Spring Nara Park Ukimido Pavillion
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  • hebaemam's Profile Photo

    1000 Deers

    by hebaemam Updated Feb 12, 2012

    There is around 1000 Deers rooming Nara , they eat somthing called Shika Senbei which is rice crackers specially made for them. they costs 150 en and sold every where. But take cares they are intelegent and hungry. once they see you buying it they will not leave you till you feed them quickly, so better stand on a step. close your bag cause one of them took a map from my bag and ate it.....

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  • swiftfoot's Profile Photo

    Nara Park - deer country

    by swiftfoot Written Nov 23, 2011

    Nara Park is a 5 minute walk from the Kintetsu Nara train station. Fun for children to experience deer up close - but not all the deer are gentle. Enjoy their presence but be ready for that occasional nudge or headbutt. The deer are considered National Treasure and are protected as such.

    fair warning

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  • muratkorman's Profile Photo

    Park of history and deers

    by muratkorman Updated Oct 10, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A huge wasteland area was transformed into a park in 1880 and was designated as a scenic spot in 1922. In this park, you can visit UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Kofukuji Temple, Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Nara Park is home to hundreds of freely roaming deer. Nara's deer, considered messengers of the gods in Shinto, has become a symbol of the city. The tame deers can be easily approached and fed. This is one of the best chances to get that much close and pet these lovely creatures.

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    • Historical Travel

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  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    Nara National Museum: Small but Stunning

    by AKtravelers Updated Aug 12, 2009

    The Nara National Museum was cool in several ways. Most importantly, it is air conditioned -- a critical attraction on a humid August afternoon -- Japanese humid where you sweat with every step, no matter how relaxed! But it also has an amazing collection of Buddhist art from the Nara era spanning 14 centuries. Almost every object, grand or small, was labeled a "National Treasure" or "Important Cultural Artifact". Regardless of labels, most of the works were impressive for their age (especiall the 1300-year-old wooden objects) or their evocative beauty. My favorite piece didn't have any of the two labels. It was a wooden carving of a warrior monk from the 13th century -- besides his fiery eyes, he had a clenched right fist but a left hand poised for peace, with two upright fingers offering a buddhist blessing. This oxymoronic work was both startling and beautiful at the same time.
    Also interesting is to watch the art as it evolves from a wholesale copy of Tang Chinese and Baekju Korean work into something that is uniquely Japanese. If you don't think you'll notice this evolution yourself (I wouldn't have!) there are signs to help you along.
    The collection is not large -- you snake through about 10 rooms in one hour, even when you take time to admire the work -- but it is very chock full of wonderful work.
    You are not allowed to take photos in the museum.

    Janet inside the Nara National Museum
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  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    Nara-Koen Park: Peace with deer

    by AKtravelers Updated Aug 11, 2009

    Nara-Koen park is the center of every visit to the ancient capital. Rolling and occassionally wooded, this park is laced with footpaths, streams and ponds and, of course, Nara's famous sacred deer. At the edges are many of the historic shrines and temples from Nara's golden age (710-790) and within the park is the Nara National Museum. Often, all these sites cause people to race through the green space to get to one end or the other, but the park is worth appreciating too. It's trees, its rivulets, its vendors of one sort or another make it an oasis of peace in a generally urbanized country. In a place where land prices are astronomical, urban open space like this needs to be cherished.

    Julia leaps with a deer
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  • listenandlearn's Profile Photo

    Deers, Deers and so many loving Deers

    by listenandlearn Written Apr 19, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Nara is a place we really had a great time. Those deers really added so much to being just a tourists of a city, it made our time fly. The day was so cloudy and started raining and it kept raining all day till the following day, although that did not stop us from visiting Nara Park, the beautiful temples in Nara and have a great time.

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  • Nara Deer

    by PryanoFiore Written Aug 17, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are going to Nara, it is a good idea to experience the "wild" deer. After all, they are very hard to miss! There are places that sell cookies to feed them, which will cause many deer to come to you! It is very fun, and a good experience. It also provides good pictures! Nara is the only place that I went to where I saw these "wild" deer everywhere, so if you are going to Nara, devote some time to experience this. It is a very unique thing!

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  • catchan's Profile Photo

    Feed the deer in Nara Koen (Nara Park) :)

    by catchan Written Dec 5, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Nara Park is home to many tame deer. Visitors can buy 'senbei' (crackers) at about JPY 150 per bundle and feed it to the deer. These cute critters have very sharp eyes; they know a senbei bundle when they see one. So be ready and do not panic when they start to crowd around you and try to get you to feed them. Make sure you have enough, as they really get competitive with each other.

    I thought they looked cute but when one bit my leg, I changed my mind about them. Mind you, the bite really hurt!

    Me and my adoring fans
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  • nickinosaka's Profile Photo

    Deer Watching in the Famous Park

    by nickinosaka Written Oct 4, 2005

    Nara Park is most famous for its herd of sacred deer. They're everywhere, they're friendly, and they want your cookies (or your camera, or whatever else in your hand looks tasty). Watch where you step, though (see my warning on deer poop). The park is beautiful, especially in the fall, and can get crowded despite being huge. In the eastern part of the park is a pavillion out in the middle of a pond, reached by a bridge, which I recommend as a lunch/rest spot.

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  • vic&michael's Profile Photo

    Spring Picnic in the Park

    by vic&michael Written Apr 11, 2005

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    Spring is a sensational event in Japan.

    The cherry blossoms really are beautiful. Maruyama Park in Kyoto is the most famous place to go for a picnic under the cherry blossoms. However, it will be really really crowded in Kyoto! If you want to miss the crowds, go to Nara!

    Michael and I went to Nara Park and found a cherry tree to sit under and eat our Japanese Spring Bento (lunchboxes). It was a relaxed day with beautiful scenery. There were quite a few families out, but we were'nt crowded at all.

    You can even rent a wee boat and row yourselves around the pond whilst admiring the weeping blossom trees.

    I have many photos in my travelogues of the cherry blossom picnic and scenery in Nara, and also rowing a boat on the pond. Take a look!

    Picnicking under the cherry trees in Nara Park
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  • vic&michael's Profile Photo

    Greedy Deer in Nara Park

    by vic&michael Updated Mar 23, 2005

    My favorite experience in Nara was seeing the deer in the park. They just walk around free, there are no barriers, but they know not to go onto the road! I think they must be sacred temple deer?

    The locals have commercialised on the deer. There are stalls in Nara Park with many deer-shaped souvinears. You can also buy deer-food to feed them. It costs US$1.50 for a bunch of wafer-like deer food. Although it looks like wafers, don't try to nibble on them like I saw a tourist do once! haha!

    Once I bought the deer food, the deer headed for me fast! They are very tame, and have no fear of humans, but they don't really like to be patted (mind you, I tried! They are too cute to not try to pat!). Well, at first I thought it would be great fun, but once I started to feed them, they were so greedy for wafers that one nipped me on the elbow! Ouch! I was a bit scared after that! The male deer are more aggressive for food than the females. They will butt you with their heads, try to nibble your clothing/bags and even nip you! So, perhaps don't let your little children feed the deer...

    Feeding the greedy deer
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