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23 Feb 2016

Nara Park, Kyoto

It is worth spending a day or even 2 days in Nara Park- located in the center of the city of Nara, extending about 4 kilometers from east to west, and about 2 kilometers from south to north. Many deer graze along the spacious lawns and frolic on the grass. Inside the park area are Todai-ji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine and many other historic structures that represent the glory of the city over many centuries.

Nara park is very beautiful and reflects very well how local people have managed to live with nature so perfectly. The park is home to hundreds of freely roaming deer. Considered in Shinto to be messengers of the gods, Nara's nearly 1200 deer have become a symbol of the city and have even been designated as a natural treasure. Nara's deer are surprisingly tame, although they can be aggressive if they think you will feed them.

You can buy cookies for 150 yen and feeds the deers. Becareful if more coming towards you just drop the cookies on the floor  they will all come for the cookies.

Nara Park is a five minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station or a about a 20 minute walk from JR Nara Station. Alternatively, the park can be reached by bus. There are multiple stops around the park.

Nara is served by two railway companies, Kintetsu Railways and JR West. The Kintetsu station is an underground station just a few steps from Kofukuji and Nara Park, while the JR station is a 15-20 minute walk west of Kofukuji and the park. A network of buses, operated by Nara Kotsu, connects the two stations with all sites of interest. All major IC cards are accepted on the trains around Nara, however, the buses accept only Icoca, Pitapa and the local Cica card.

Many of Nara's main attractions are found in the centrally located Nara Park and can be visited on foot. The great temples Toshodaiji, Yakushiji and Horyuji, however, stand several kilometers outside of central Nara and are best accessed by bus or train.

The Nara Bus Pass provides unlimited use of Nara Kotsu buses around Nara. It comes as a 1-Day Pass for 500 yen that covers central Nara and the Toshodaiji/Yakushiji area, a 1-Day Pass Wide for 1000 yen that additionally covers the Horyuji area, and a 2-Day Pass for 1500 yen that additionally covers the Asuka area. The pass is on sale at the bus ticket offices across the street from Kintetsu Nara Station and inside JR Nara Station.

The deer are considered natural treasures, so they are treated very well there and live a comfortable life. It was a nice afternoon of admiring deer and capturing them on camera. We highly recommended this place. 

Japanese name: 奈良公園
Opening Hours: 24 hours
District: Nara-koen Area
Nearest Transport: 5min walk from Kintetsu Nara Station
Admission: free


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