Nara Day trip: meet the adorable deers

The city of deer, considered messengers of God, today we visit the city of Nara. This city is very close to Osaka and is the furthest most visited city in Japan. Not only thanks to the deer that occupy the park and surroundings, even for the Tōdai-ji Temple which we will later visit. Nara Park was established in 1880 it is one of the oldest parks in Japan. Like many of us, we decided to visit this city during the day, without stopping at night. Are you ready to meet these adorable deer?

 

Nandaimon Gate of Tōdaiji
Nandaimon Gate of Tōdaiji

HOW TO GET TO NARA

The nearest airport to the city of Nara is 45km away and is Osaka International Airport. Easily accessible by the Itami-Airport Limousine direct bus, journey time 1h and costs 1500 yen one way.

WITH JAPAN RAIL PASS

From Osaka, direct trains from Tennōji Station, Yamatoji Line (green) duration 35min.
From Kyoto, direct trains from Kyoto Station, Nara line (brown) lasting one hour.
From Tokyo, fast train to Kyoto station, and then Nara line, duration 3h15.

WITHOUT JAPAN RAIL PASS

From Osaka, there are direct trains every 20min from Namba station (duration 45min), right in the city center. While from Shin-Osaka you will have to make 1 change.

 

WHAT TO SEE

The main attraction of Nara, are the famous deers that live in and around the park. Do not be fooled these deer are wild and are not as adorable as they seem. Some tips for more sustainable tourism:

  • Only feed them with deer crackers, 150yen 
  • They can bite if they smell food, take care of your bag/backpack
  • Sometimes they push, remember that they are wild
  • Don’t use flash to take pictures
  • Even if they are very tender, don’t hug them

Killing one of these deer is a capital offense punishable by death up to 1637, the last recorded date of a breach of that law. After World War II, the deer were officially stripped of their sacred status, and were instead designated as national treasures and are protected as such.

 

Tōdai-ji Temple
Tōdai-Ji Temple

Now that we have deer we talk about what we can visit in Nara. Although it is not a very large city, it is perfect for a day. The park of Nara is a public park located in the city of Nara, Japan, at the foot of Mount Wakakusa.

In the park, we can find the Tōdai-Ji Temple the Greatest Bronze Hall of the Buddha, UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entrance costs 600 yen, and it’s open from 7.30 to 17.30.

It is one of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”, together with seven other sites including temples, shrines, and places in the city of Nara. The other 6 temples are Daian-Ji, Gangō-Ji, Hōryū-Ji, Kōfuku-Ji, Saidai-Ji, and Yakushi-Ji.

 

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