This is a great park! It stretches 4km east to west and 2km north to south. Scattered throughout the park and it's borders are a number of shrines and temples.
Nara park is also the home to Nara's deer population. You can buy special 'crackers' to feed the deer and they are very tame.
The deer that roam the park are believed to be the messengers of the gods.
A great place to relax or picnic between temples and shrines.
Nara Park is a lovely park within the city of Nara where many of the main sights are located. It was established in the late 19th century, and the main attractions consists of Todaiji, Kasuga Taisha, Kofukuji and many more.
Nara Park is also the home of many free roaming deer. They are considered the messengers of the gods of Shinto so are very well-taken care of and regarded as a National Treasure.
Nobody messes with the deer, but the deer are allow to harass the tourists for biscuits. This is condoned by the many "senbei" vendors you will see all over the park.
The deer are cute though....
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!
A huge wasteland area was made into a park in 1880 and was desginated as a place of scenic beauty in 1922. In the area between Mt. Wakakusa and Mt. Kasuga, such famous temples and shrines as Kofukuji, Todaiji and the Kasuga Grand Shrine are located. There are about 1200 gentle deers roaming freely in the park. The park is also known as Deer Park.
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!
Picture shows one of the two Lords guarding at the entrance to Todaiji Temple. The two lords are very huge made from stones holding their own weapons to protect the temple.
From the picture you can see a hungry deer trying to eat up my map! Perhaps the map looks like biscuits for the deer which are almost the same colour and flat, as those biscuits sold for feeding the deers.
Lotsa deer droppings on the floor too!
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!
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 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.
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.
Other important sites worth visiting in the park are Kasuga-taisha grand shrine and Horyu-ji, Yakushi-ji and Nigatsu-do temples.
Twice a year during the Lantern Festival, many stone lanterns and about 3,000 suspended metal lanterns are lit at the Kasuga-taisha.
Nigatsu-do temple (photo) is located on a hill and allows a fair view of the park.
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!