Deer Diary, 5th September 2017

  • Head to Nara
  • Meet the Deer in Nara

We set off bright and early as we were having a day trip out of osaka to Nara. Nara is a town around 45 minutes away which is famous for the largest wooden temple in the world Todai-ji. It also has dear in the grounds of the temple. We picked up some breakfast on the way and after a couple of stops we arrived in Nara.
We left the station and began walking to the park where the temple and the deer were. We made it to the first area which had a five tiered pagoda. There they were the deer all nonchalant looking for food whilst people tried to photograph them and get a selfie.

Five tiered pagoda
Stag posing for pictures in the courtyard

It was an amazing site to see as usually deer would be off as soon as they saw someone. But here as the monks in the temple have fed them for many years they have become tame and not afraid of people. Its almost a complete role reversal as many of the people were scared of the deer.
Some were not at all and wanted their perfect photo. One lady I saw tried to put her arm round one of the deer necks and it looked like she was about to put him in a head lock before he shrugged her off.


We carried on into the park and found a little stall which sold crackers that you could feed to the dear for 150 Yen (£1.10). The deer were clever and as soon as they saw someone with food they were all over them and we saw a couple of people being chased by cracker crazed deer. A couple saw us with the food and then wouldn’t leave us alone. I managed to put them in my pocket and showed them my empty hands and they soon left. We were told that the dear would bow for food and then you could feed them. Which they did! Some of them could have perfected their bows but they still did it.

Oh Deer i don’t think he can read
Deer Crackers
Becky feeding one of the deer before it attacked her

We carried on through the park and got a glimpse of the giant wooden temple. We drew closer and it got bigger and bigger. We paid 500 yen to get in and we couldn’t believe the size of it. Inside of the temple was a huge Buddha which sat in the centre and the positioning of his fingers showed he was welcoming everyone inside. It was beautiful and to construct the mammoth temple over 1200 years ago nearly bankrupt the country at the time.

The giant buddha
Buddha welcoming everyone to the temple

We wondered around and found two large hand carved figurines standing to the rear of the Buddha. The detail was out of this world on each statue and they looked truly remarkable.

 

One of the carved wooden sculptures
Other of the carved wooden sculptures


We left the temple and ascended a path through the trees and into the hills. We found another temple sat on the hill side.

Tree roots on the way up to the temple
Deer amongst the flowering trees

Deer grazed underneath on the grass and up a large stone staircase a huge wooden balcony surrounded the temple.

View from the balcony

You could see for miles and it was peaceful just the bugs in the trees clicking away. We had a barley tea before leaving the temple. Once back in town we rested our feet and had a pineapple and grapefruit smoothie before heading back to the station for Osaka. It was nice to get out of the city and we enjoyed our time in Nara.
On the way into Osaka station we saw a large white tent in the city which said the perfect beer garden. So we decided to go and check it out thinking there may be some music or food stalls. We found it and it wasn’t quite yet going so we got a beer and sat out on the terrace looking over the city. After our pit stop we caught the train back to our guesthouse before heading out to get some dinner.

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