Nara Park


469 Zoshi-cho


The Nara Park is a large park located in the centre of this old capital of Japan. Established in 1880. It is where many of Nara’s historical sites are located, such as Todaiji, Kasuga Taisha, Kofukuji and the Nara National Museum. It takes up a large part of the city and was created on top of wasteland. Today, it is home to 1,200 deer that are believed to be the messengers of god, according to Shintoism.

The well-fed deer are tame, however, and you don’t usually have to worry about them attempting to nibble on your bag or clothes. If you feel like being surrounded by deer, purchase some deer crackers that are on sale throughout the park by mobile vendors. Do watch your step however, as deer droppings are quite rampant. You can also purchase deer dropping shaped chocolate as a cheeky souvenir.


469 Zoshi-cho



Bethany Beffinee

It is so much fun feeding the deer here! You can buy crackers to feed them from stalls all over the park (they cost 150 yen regardless of where you buy them so you don't need to shop around). Watch out though because deer can quickly swarm you when they realise you have food and might even headbutt you or steal something from your bag :P

I really recommend seeing the giant buddha here, it costs 500 yen but it is worth it I think :)

Eri Lin

If you want to feed the deer, be careful with any stray white papers or bags peeking out from your belongings as the deer may mistake them for senbei and try to munch on them as well. Also avoid very quickly running away or any sharp movements as it may spook the deer or cause them to chase after you.

Jennifer Weiss

You can have different kinds of experiences in Nara Park depending on the area you visit. When visiting the big well-known sights within the park, like Todai-ji Daibutsu-den or Kasuga Taisha Shrine, don't be surprised to find them extremely crowded not only with foreign tourists, but also with Japanese tourists and huge groups of school classes on excursion. Because of its old history this city attracts many different kinds of people.

But there are also areas where you can simply wander around and experience the beauty of Japanese nature. You'll find little ponds and streams offering great photo opportunities. And behind Kasuga Taisha you will find a nice area of trails for light hiking.

Something Nara Park is known for besides temples and shrines is its wildlife. There are deer lounging around all over the park. Some will come close to see, if you are carrying any "shika senbei" - deer crackers - which can be purchased from vendors in the park for 150 Yen. But don't worry, they are used to people and as long as they are treated respectfully they will definitely not harm you!


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