Visiting Nara Park

I sensed beady black eyes watching me as I surveyed my surrounding. So many of them were scattered throughout the park.  Some relaxing on patches of grass, some strolling through the open field, and some chasing after delicious treasures from humans’ hands.

Removing the thin strip of paper that binds the stack of crackers, I cautiously approached one. It stared at me as I held out a thin cracker between us. It sniffed, bit, and then snatched the cracker from my hand and devoured it.  Before I knew it, a swarm of deer surrounded me, all eyeing the treasures in my hand.

Quick Facts About Nara

  • Japan’s first permanent capital
  • A Unesco World Heritage Site
  • Home to some of Japan’s oldest and largest temples – Be sure to visit Todaiji Temple!

Getting There

Visiting Nara Park is a perfect day trip from Kyoto. Take the JR Nara Line from Kyoto Station (about an hour). Once you arrive at JR Nara Station, you can take the number #2 service from bus stop 2 to Nara Park. The buses are yellow and easy to recognize.

What To Do

1 . Feed the Deer

Nara Park is a paradise for hundreds of freely roaming deer. The deer are fearless and tame as they casually roam the park, waiting to be fed. They can get aggressive if they think you have food so be cautious. Feeding the deer is an experience you’ll never forget.

nara park deers

deers nara park

deers nara park


deers nara park

deers nara park

Here’s a short video of us feeding the deers!


2. Visit Todaiji Temple

One of Japan’s most historically significant temples, Todaiji serves as the head Buddhist temple. The main hall is an impressive wooden building that is worth the sight. It houses one of Japan’s largest bronze Buddha statue. The Daibutsu (as it’s called) is 15 meter tall and weighs over 500 tons!

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