A Nara day trip is perfect for everyone staying in Kyoto or Osaka as this cute small town is located between those popular Japanese towns. (Well, apparantly, Nara is not that small but it leaves you with the impression of being a small town) Besides the usual (temples) you can find here mainly one thing: deer.
And not only some hidden in the fields, but actually a lot of them walking around freely.
The deer are walking around the town freely. And they are not shy of people at all.
What to find out in this post
Quick Info about Nara
- Capital of the Nara Prefecture
- Boardering Kyoto Prefecture
- Around 350.000 inhabitants
- Some of its temples are actually part of the UNESCO World Heritage
- And still the main attraction are the deer
How to get from Kyoto to Nara?
From Kyoto Station you can go by JR Nara Line directly to Nara Station. The duration is about 45 minutes and costs you 710 Yen (about 5,50 Euro). The way from the Nara station to the park where you can find the deer might take around 10-15 minutes. The deer will already be waiting for you.
The deer of Nara
The deer of Nara are used to people walking around. But that doesn’t mean that they are not longer wild animals. And we should treat them like that.
Anyway, if you want to get a little closer to Bambi and his friends there actually is a way. At the entrances of the park they usually sell cookies for the deer. You can get one package for 150 Yen (about 1,17 Euro). But don’t underestimate this cute little creatures when it comes to food. As soon as they see you leaving the stand with a pack of cookies in your hand you might suddenly have ten new friends. They will try anything to get them. Starting with biting your shirt up to push you in the back with their antler.
Especially, one of the deer was super insisting and didn’t let me go one meter further. The best solution in such moments is basically walking on until just a smaller group is following you. Don’t do the same mistake as me and stand still as more and more deer will come. With just a few of them you can take really cute pictures if you use the cookies in a right way.
The Owl Café of Nara
Probably I have been a little too naive when it comes to this Nara sightseeing spot. I actually believed that the owls would be flying around freely and come to you when they feel like getting petted. But as a matter of fact the total opposite is happening there: they are all leashed to the sticks that they are sitting on. Although you have to agree to the terms and conditions of the café before being allowed to get in touch with the owls. But actually many people don’t comply with those rules. For example, it’s said that the owls are not allowed to be touched when their eyes are closed or they are not on their sticks. But some people just do it anyway. And the staff is just too polite to really say anything.
I am actually not quite sure what to think of this owl café. I mean, sure, on the one hand it’s amazing to get so close to this fluffy cuties. And it seemed to me (well, maybe it is just my impression) that many of the owls actually enjoyed the petting. But all day long getting touched by strangers. I wouldn’t like that if I was an owl I guess. Anyone here that knows more about owls and might give me some background info? Well, until now I am not sure whether I really can recommend the owl café.
Where to next?
Make sure to check out our 7 days Tokyo itinerary here.
If you are traveling with kids read about all the great things you can to in Osaka with kids.