"Deer Nara" Top 5 Page for this destination Nara by tigerjapan

Nara Travel Guide: 273 reviews and 1,056 photos

NARA: full of deer from Ibaraki

We were in Nara in 2002 for our friend's wedding. A group of us were put up in a house for the time we were there (people from Japan, Australia and the UK). Having a few days we took the others to some of Nara's famous places. It was fun to act as a tour guide and as a group we all got along so well. It was a great trip, not only for the wedding, but for the friendships that were made.

The deer in Nara, around Kasuga Taisha, are quite famous, but they actually mainly come from Ibaraki. Kashima Jingu is a semi-famous shrine in Ibaraki and most of Nara's deer came from there. Being foreigners ourselves, we got along very well with the locally imported Ibaraki deer. Mary-Liz could not be tempted to buy these antlers... but we did manage to get a photo of her in them.

The deer are very tame and you can feed them. However, once you start they will not leave you alone. Deer are believed to be messengers from the Gods.

The two sites mentioned below are two of my favourite places to visit in Nara.

Todai Ji

Todaiji is one of Nara's most famous temples. It houses a large statue of the sitting Buddha.

We were there when some work was being down to the outer-structure of the building, but it didn't subtract from the beauty of the place at all.

Inside the main structure is the Daibutsu (large Buddha) and various other historical and religious artifacts. A popular thing with the kids is a large pillar with a hole at the bottom. Kids (and some very small adults) crawl through the space, which represents the Buddha's nostril. Making it through will give you good health!

Kasuga Taisha

You could spend quite a while just wandering around Kasuga Shrine. It is the area where most of the deer are in and around.

Kasuga Shrine is classified as one of Japan's top 3 shrines. It is a must-see activity for anyone in the Kansai area.

Surrounded by the 'Kasuga Taisha Shrine Jin'en Park', it is a relaxing place to visit for anyone. The plants and trees in the park appear in Japan's oldest poetry anthology called "Man'yoshu".

Near the north enterance to the shrine is the Homotsu-den (Treasure Hall). It contains equipment used in no, gagaku and bugaku performances, as well as Shinto ceremonial costumes etc.

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  • In a nutshell:Historical significance and the beauty of the Japanese countryside
  • Last visit to Nara: Sep 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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