Oh Deer.. A Day in Nara

Any trip to Kyoto wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Nara.

Nara is a great half-day trip from Kyoto, located just a short 45 minute train ride from Kyoto.

According to local folklore, deer from this area were once considered sacred animals, like cows in India, that if anyone was caught killing a deer, it was a capital offense and punishable by death. Today, they are designated as National Treasures, protected as such and are allowed to roam freely in the public parks (and streets) of Nara.

So, along with our Couchsurfing roommate, Noa, a big deer fan no less, we hopped the train for a day of photo fun in the park.

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Thanks to our friend Noa for Instagraming this goofy one!

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Deer are not the only attraction here. There are a ton of students from all over Japan on field trips! They’re loads of fun to take photos of too with their matching uniforms and bright colored hats.

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Before we even saw a deer, we were bombarded by students interviewing us. They were practicing their English.

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Unfortunately, Gerard and I didn’t get to many questions. Apparently, we look Japanese and therefore do not speak English.

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But of course we were good for a photo..

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While deer petting can be fun, it’s also important to take precaution. Noa had one nibble on her dress, one even bit her, so they’re not as friendly as they look some times.

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And these aren’t just ordinary deer – they’re Japanese! Most of them have learned to bow after receiving a treat. Only in Nara will you see people bowing to deer and the deer bowing back.

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Gerard bought some mega-deer cookies and we were all surprised to see our first deer bow!

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But then he got a little too excited. That’ll teach Gerard from hiding the cookies behind his back!

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Your cookies won’t last for long and they’re quick to follow you wherever you go.

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There are deer everywhere. They’ll chill out in parks like here. How many deer can you spot in the photo above?

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They’ll hide out in parks, follow you on the streets.. and into stores! Or, sometimes they’ll just make out right in front of you! Awww..

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You might also want to stop by Todai-ji, a Buddhist temple that holds the world’s biggest bronze Buddha statue. We didn’t go because it was pretty expensive.

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And last but not least.. this one isn’t camera shy at all. For a nice break from the city, head on over to Nara.

What’s your favorite deer pic?


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  • http://twitter.com/AI_FollowUs Anglo Italian

    They were so sweets.. great to read about your experience, we were there only a couple of days ago and loved it! 🙂

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Sweet! Are you guys still in Japan? Where to next?

      • http://twitter.com/AI_FollowUs Anglo Italian

        Nope, we’ve taken the leap over to Korea, whilst you two made the ‘big leap’. Congrats again you two!

  • http://www.angloitalianfollowus.com/ Anglo Italian

    They were so sweets.. great to read about your experience, we were there only a couple of days ago and loved it! 🙂

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Sweet! Are you guys still in Japan? Where to next?

      • http://www.angloitalianfollowus.com/ Anglo Italian

        Nope, we’ve taken the leap over to Korea, whilst you two made the ‘big leap’. Congrats again you two!

  • http://twitter.com/TheBlondtravels The Blond travels

    I can’t believe the deer are not afraid of people. What a wonderful experinece it must have been 🙂 In London there is a park where they have deer walking freely around, but you’re not allowed to pet them and they stay away from people at a safe distance

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Me too! I was more afraid of them then anything. Most are friendly but some can get aggressive if you don’t feed it fast enough. Lol

  • The Blond travels

    I can’t believe the deer are not afraid of people. What a wonderful experinece it must have been 🙂 In London there is a park where they have deer walking freely around, but you’re not allowed to pet them and they stay away from people at a safe distance

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Me too! I was more afraid of them then anything. Most are friendly but some can get aggressive if you don’t feed it fast enough. Lol

  • http://www.neverendingfootsteps.com Lauren

    This looks fun, cute and terrifying.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      It’s perfect for you!

  • http://www.neverendingfootsteps.com Lauren

    This looks fun, cute and terrifying.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      It’s perfect for you!

  • Becky GlobalGrasshopper

    These photos are gorgeous! They look so cute.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      They really are in person too. 🙂

  • Becky GlobalGrasshopper

    These photos are gorgeous! They look so cute.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      They really are in person too. 🙂

  • http://www.activebackpacker.com/ Tom

    Awww, these photos are great. I LOVE the one with the deer thrusting its head upwards and looking as happy as a deer possibly could 😀 Looks like one of Santa’s reindeers hehe. Fun fun fun!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      That’s exactly what I said too. I kept calling one Rudolph! Haha

  • http://www.activebackpacker.com/ Tom

    Awww, these photos are great. I LOVE the one with the deer thrusting its head upwards and looking as happy as a deer possibly could 😀 Looks like one of Santa’s reindeers hehe. Fun fun fun!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      That’s exactly what I said too. I kept calling one Rudolph! Haha

  • http://twitter.com/Ayngelina Ayngelina

    These photos are so funny, I love the expressions from what seem like really happy deer.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      They are really happy. Except for the ones that bite you or ram you in the crotch. 🙂

  • Ayngelina

    These photos are so funny, I love the expressions from what seem like really happy deer.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      They are really happy. Except for the ones that bite you or ram you in the crotch. 🙂

  • https://aweinclusive.com Michaela

    Those deer are divas – posing for the camera and demanding treats! LOL! Nara looks like an amazing experience and lots of fun!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha, oh they’re definitely diva deers. Lol

  • https://aweinclusive.com Michaela

    Those deer are divas – posing for the camera and demanding treats! LOL! Nara looks like an amazing experience and lots of fun!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha, oh they’re definitely diva deers. Lol

  • http://twitter.com/sandalroad Sandal Road

    Sounds like a great experience! Had not heard of Nara before, so hopefully on my next trip to Japan… I adored Kyoto.

  • Sandal Road

    Sounds like a great experience! Had not heard of Nara before, so hopefully on my next trip to Japan… I adored Kyoto.

  • suzyguese

    Those deer want their cookies! I wonder if they are so accustomed to posing for pictures. They seem to not be camera shy in the least bit!

  • suzyguese

    Those deer want their cookies! I wonder if they are so accustomed to posing for pictures. They seem to not be camera shy in the least bit!

  • Ash Clark

    Bowing deer, now i ve seen everything…

  • http://themostalive.com/ Ash

    Bowing deer, now i ve seen everything…

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