Travellers flock to Nara to see the famed deer at close quarters, with more than 1,000 free-roaming animals to be seen in an historic setting that never loses its appeal. Dating back to 1880, this is one of the oldest parks in Japan and, whilst most head here to feed the deer, there’s a great deal more to see at the foot of Mount Wakakusa.
The Kofukuji and Todaiji Temples — the latter a UNESCO World Heritage Site — demand a visit, whilst there’s much to be enjoyed at the National Treasure Museum, located within the park’s grounds. But it’s the deer who dominate here, with trippers drawn to see the fabled messengers of the Shinto gods, who have learned to bow for treats, and who are well rewarded for their tricks.
Located a 45-minute train ride from Kyoto, Nara is well worth a visit for those keen to leave the hustle and bustle behind for a short time.