Kyoto: Nara

We took a day trip on the train from Kyoto to Nara, which is Japan’s first permanent capital, so obviously it has a lot of history. Just before leaving for our holiday, we had caught a BBC documentary on Japan which mentioned Nara and its famous ‘bowing deer’, so we had to go over and have a look!

Lo and behold, when we arrived at Nara park, lots of deer! The warning sign is quite funny too 🙂

Deer at Nara Park

Apart from deer, Nara Park is also full of historical buildings which are part of the Kōfuku-ji (a Buddhist temple). The temple comprises the Eastern Golden Hall (Tō-kondō) and five-story pagoda (Gojū-no-tō)

Deer at Nara Park Eastern Golden Hall in Nara Park Eastern Golden Hall and five-storied pagoda in Nara Park

…the Southern Octagonal Hall (Nan’endō), which I think is a beautiful building…

Southern Octagonal Hall in Nara Park Southern Octagonal Hall in Nara Park

…and smaller three-story pagoda (Sanjū-no-tō).

Three-storied pagoda in Nara Park

The highlight though, I must say, were the deer. You could buy deer biscuits from stalls around the park, and if you bow to them, they will bow back for a biscuit. Other people around us didn’t seem to be aware of this, then they started copying us 🙂

Michelle feeding the deer in Nara Park

Heading back to Kyoto, we came across these guys at Nara train station. I had no idea what was going on at the time, but after passing the text through a translator after the fact, found out that the banner they are holding says “Welcome to Nara” – which makes perfect sense!

Characters holding up "Welcome to Nara" sign at train station

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