I went in Japan 3 times for all, but only last year, I finally went to Nara. Nara is located next to Kyoto in the Kansai region, which is a 3,5 hours journey from Tokyo in Shinkansen + a train to go to Nara from Kyoto. The Shinkansen being expensive, the best option is to get a JR Pass. Also I must had that taking the train in Japan is so pleasant. Their trains are on times, cleans, fast and offer a great service.
Now to the journey
Once you step out of the train, you just need to follow the various signs to find the numerous shrines and obviously, the deer.
They are wandering freelee in the city and have been actually established here since a 1000 years. It’s pretty amazing to think that humans and deer have been able to live together for such a long time.
Feeding the deer is forbidden, if you want to do so you have to buy some special biscuits for them, as you can see in the picture above, they’re only a few yens and are available in most shops, where you can also buy some refreshment. Let’s be honest the deer are so used to human presence and the thousands of tourist they see everyday, they’re totally uninterested by you unless you got foods.
Nara is definitely is a must see ! But it’s hard to see all the shrines in a few hours. The most famous one are : Kofûku-ji, Todai-ji, Heijō Palace.. But we mostly stayed around Nara Park.
I’d say a a full day or even two would be a better option. Especially in the summer, as the heat and humidity can tired you out really quick.
We didn’t have a special plans or to do list for this day trip. We knew we wanted to see the deer and shrines and that was it. It’s been a really fun day, seeing the deer and various shrines almost give this kind of throwback in time vibe.
It really shows you how past and present culture/architecture blend so well together in Japan.
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