Spending the Day in Nara With the Sika Deer


Nara Park is a public park located in the city of Nara, Japan, about an hour train ride from Kyoto.

Welcome to Nara

Nara is famous for its residents. The Sika Deer.

Over 1,200 wild Sika Deer roam freely around the park.

Sika Deer of Nara

According to local folklore, deer from this area were considered sacred after one of the four gods of the Kasuga Shrina was said to have appeared on Mt. Mikasa-yama riding a white deer.

After that the deer were considered divine and sacred. The deer are now considered natural treasures, so they are treated very well there and live a comfortable life.

Sika Deer Everywhere

We arrived in the morning and made our way directly to where the Deer roam.

On the way we passed several souvenir shops filled with a plethora of deer toys and knick nacks. We prefer the real thing, so we continued on our way. 

Giselle giving some love to the deer of Nara

Up ahead we started seeing the graceful animals and started getting excited.

There were several people selling deer crackers, but we though they might prefer fresh fruit so we brought apples to feed them. 

Unlike a lot of tourist traps, Nara Park wasn’t bombarded with tourists while we were there.

It had a more natural relaxed feel and the deer really did roam anywhere they wanted.

Cody and I spent several hours just sitting with a group of deer without any other tourists approaching.

The Deer loving Cody

It was a nice afternoon of admiring deer and capturing them on camera.

There are also gardens open to the public and a buddhist temple.

Another sight to see at Nara park is Todai-ji. It is the largest wooden building in the world, and houses a 50′ tall statue of Buddha.

 Nara Deer

After everything we have seen during our travels regarding the mistreatment of animals, Nara Park was a lovely place to visit and spend time with content animals.



Comments To This Entry.
  1. Franca February 7, 2015 Reply

    I knew you wold have enjoyed visiting Nara and spending time with the lovely and super cute deer. It’s actually one of my fondest memories form our trip to Japan, I simply love how they can freely roam around and still have contact with human beings if they want to. No cages or small enclosed spaces, it’s awesome isn’t it?

    • Giselle and Cody February 10, 2015 Reply

      Franca, it was an amazing experience. It is great to see them free to roam around and go where they want.
      We were thinking of heading back to Japan and doing a Japanimal trip 🙂 Visiting all the different animal places.
      Monkeys in the mountains, Deer in the park, bunnies on the island etc…. 🙂

  2. […] about the famous Deer in Nara Park, Japan. How they basically own the place, right? Giselle C. visited The Big J and has taken Nose Booping to an entirely different level. (Speakers up, […]

  3. […] about the famous Deer in Nara Park, Japan. How they basically own the place, right? Giselle C. visited The Big J and has taken Nose Booping to an entirely different level. (Speakers up, […]

  4. Fabiana February 10, 2015 Reply

    That looks like heavent to me. Deers are the cutest creatures! I have to go.

    • Giselle and Cody February 10, 2015 Reply

      You would love it Fabiana!
      So peaceful and relaxing…….once the deer realize you have no more food left 🙂

  5. jodi February 14, 2015 Reply

    I so enjoy your animal vegan food loving world wanderlust adventures…. also feel lucky to have been on a few with you!

    • Giselle and Cody February 14, 2015 Reply

      It’s always great to see you and to go on adventures with you. We had a great time in Pai and would love to travel to Burma again with you. Maybe next year?? 🙂

  6. Rika@VM February 15, 2015 Reply

    How adorable!

  7. Rika@VM February 15, 2015 Reply

    So adorable! And such a lovely and compassionate blog you have! A pleasure to meet vegan and travel bloggers!

    • Giselle and Cody February 16, 2015 Reply

      Thanks Rika. It’s always great to come across other Vegan bloggers.
      Who knows when we might be in the same area 🙂

  8. Alex February 16, 2015 Reply

    Another place I will have to mark down to go when I am in Japan.

    After seeing all the stupid animals camps in Thailand it will be a nice change to see these free animals. Thanks!!

    • Giselle and Cody February 22, 2015 Reply

      Ughhh, the animal shows and camps in Thailand are so depressing and we hope they all shut down.
      The Deer of Nara were so beautiful and friendly and it was easily one of our fave places in all of Japan.

  9. Mischa February 21, 2015 Reply

    This was one of my favorite parts of Japan.
    It was the hi-light of my trip for sure.
    So beautiful and friendly.

    • Giselle and Cody February 24, 2015 Reply

      We would have to agree with you on it being one of our highlights as well.
      We are so glad we made the time to go and see these beautiful animals.
      So peaceful, friendly, and free. That always makes us happy. 🙂

  10. Janelle March 24, 2015 Reply

    That vido is so cute and what a great message.

  11. […] about the famous Deer in Nara Park, Japan. How they basically own the place, right? Giselle C. visited The Big J and has taken Nose Booping to an entirely different level. (Speakers up, […]

  12. Lee November 12, 2015 Reply

    Great write up. For anyone planning on visiting Nara, please swing by the NARA Visitor Center & Inn. It’s a great place to start your time in Nara (bilingual staff, free baggage storage, free wi-fi, free events and a ton of travel literature)

  13. We are heading to Japan this fall and I hope we can visit this place. I have heard so much about it. I love that you guys took some apples to deer instead of the crackers, maybe we will do the same.

    • Giselle and Cody August 11, 2016 Reply

      Hey Paula, We would definitely recommend heading to Nara Park and seeing the deer. Leave the busy area and find your own little area.
      The deer were very friendly and curious and of course wanted apples. We would also suggest doing the same with the apples. So much healthier and you will save money as well 🙂

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