Nara, Japan and their Deers

IMG_3792

Last Sunday was our off day in Kobe, our host decided to bring us to Nara for a half a day tour!

IMG_3909

This is the mascot of Nara, a weird boy with deer antlers.

It was really fun and the visit was very memorable! If you have never been to Nara or heard of it, you will be shock to know that there are wild deers free roaming in the Nara Park! Read on to see for yourself on how I got attacked by the deers and ended up with two bruises on my thigh! Haha.

IMG_3834

IMG_3821

Nara Park is located in the central part of Nara City, this vast green area encompasses four world heritage sites of UNESCO. We visited the main one site – Todaiji Temple – which houses the statue of the Great Buddha and was founded in 8th Century.

IMG_3839

IMG_3844

IMG_3840

The temple standing today was built in 1709 as the original house was burned down twice during war. Even though it was scaled down to two thirds of the original size, it is still the largest wooden structure in the world.

IMG_3911

IMG_3838

IMG_3822

IMG_3845

In Japan, you can always find lucky charms of all types sold in the temple. This temple has a wide range of lucky charm designs which I bought a few! I think it makes nice souvenirs for friends!

IMG_3847

IMG_3846

Other than the UNESCO sites, another charm of this park is the deers! There are approximately 1200 wild deers roaming around freely.

IMG_3848

IMG_3943

IMG_3942

IMG_3826

They are everywhere! I can so imagine my sister screaming all the way if she is there!

IMG_3825

According to legend, when Kasuga Taisha Shrine was founded as a family shrine for the Fujiwaras (a dominant aristocrat clan in the 8th century), they invited a mighty god from Kashima Shrine who is said to have come to Nara riding on a white deer. Since then, the deers have been respected and protected as divine messengers by local people.

IMG_3819

IMG_3814

IMG_3809

IMG_3853

IMG_3793

The deer in Nara Park eats grass, bamboo leaves and buds, however, booth selling Shika Senbei (deer crackers) is widely available in the park and these are their favourite snacks which they will fight over!

IMG_3948

IMG_3949

Once I approached the booth selling Shika Senbei, they started approaching me with those greedy looks. I had to walk quickly with a crowd of deer right behind me. Instead of feeding them all at once with all I had, I feed them one cracker at a time. This got me bitten twice as the impatient ones took a bite on my thigh to hurry me up! In the end, I had to run and throw the crackers in various directions just so I can distract them!

IMG_3921

IMG_3922

Despite being bitten by the not so tame deers twice, I enjoyed myself in Nara and had plenty of fun! Just along the street towards Todaiji Temple, there are plenty of souvenirs shops, however we shopped mainly at the other streets (which is approximately 15 minutes walk away) that has more food and souvenirs shops!

Advertisements

About somethingboutrenes

A lady with many random thoughts and braving this whimsical world with a simple faith. In love with all things vintage and pieces with a story to tell. Loves blogging, enjoys Yoga and has an urgent need to travel to maintain sanity.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. somethingboutrenes · Deers Deers everywhere in Nara, Japan - March 7, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: