Nara Park, Japan’s sacred deer sanctuary

When we were staying in Kyoto we took a train to visit Nara Park. Nara Park, or Nara Koen as it’s known in Japanese, is probably the most visited deer park in Japan and it’s famous for its friendly and playful deer.

There are so many wonderful photo opportunities. Nara Park is an attractive park to wander around, set at the base of Mt Waka and it’s dotted with picturesque shrines and temples.

The deer at Nara Park are certainly not shy. They know they’re onto a good thing with all these eager humans carrying bags of purchased deer crackers. The deer crackers are apparently nutritionally balanced, and they must taste delicious as the deer are very keen on them and will follow you around. They even have a habit of bowing to visitors – especially if you bow to them first.

The deer have grown so used to the presence of humans (that they must see as a source of food) that some of them are sometimes overly confident. In fact there are signs throughout the park advising visitors to be cautious with the deer.

More photos of the Nara Park deer

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