Nara: The City of Deer

Nara Deer

The deer of Nara Park are one of its most defining features.

Nara Deer Toys

Wild deer roam Nara Park while stuffed deer frolic through the shops.

Nara Deer Warnings

She looks harmless enough.

Tiny Hippo in Nara Park

I am sure there is nothing to worry about, the deer look so cute.

Nara Park Deer Fall

Here comes one now, what a rare treat!

Deer and a Tiny Hippo in Nara

Why hello, what long eyelashes and whiskers you have, madam.

Tiny Hippo and Deer

Oh! I did not see your friend behind me, you must forgive my rudeness at not complimenting both of you fine ladies this lovely morning.

Tiny Hippo Surrounded by Nara Deer

Sir, things are getting a bit cramped in here, please wait your turn, I know the moss is delicious in this area.

Tiny Hippo with Nara Deer

Great jumping jellybeans, they’re everywhere!

Nara Deer Crackers

Yes, that’s it, distract them with your crackers!

Tiny Hippo Rescued From the Deer

Thank you, kind lady, you have saved me from a horrific fate.


Old Daijoin Temple Garden

Old Daijoin Temple Garden

This is the Old Daijoin Temple Garden, a 12th century garden which is just a short walk from Nara Hotel

While the garden is lovely and tranquil, our favorite part about visiting the Old Daijoin Temple Garden was the Heritage Center. The center had a calligraphy exhibition on view which was lovely. The people working at the center were delightful and very excited that we showed interested in their work. In the center’s tea room there was a group of women dressed in pretty kimonos who were serving dessert and tea. The women were ecstatic once we finally worked up the nerve to venture into their domain. They rushed to make sure we were comfortable and then spent a half hour or so chatting with us. It would be fair to say that we were just as interested in them as they were in us. The women were eager to let us in on the best things Nara had to offer, specifically the locally grown foods. They even rustled up some Clementine oranges and a persimmon for us to take back to our hotel. These ladies were the model of hospitality and if I had not already fallen in love with Japan this experience sealed the deal. If you pass by the Daijoin Temple Garden stop in, you may just stumble into a charming new world.

Tiny Hippo at Old Daijoin Temple Garden, Nara

The Zen of the gardens is felt by even the smallest of hippos.