Nara became Japan’s first permanent capital in 710. Besides temples, it is also famous for its large population of wild sika deer, roaming around freely in the Nara Park. It takes slightly more than 30min to get there from Kyoto.

Above, wild deer waiting around a stand selling biscuits. I bought some and was the object of instant attention. Those deer will stop at nothing to get their biscuits: they will bow, headbutt, bite, rummage through your pockets or chase you around. However, they lose interest pretty quickly once they realize there are no more biscuits to obtain.

Above, sign warning about deer.

Above, Nandaimon gate leading to Todai-ji Temple.

Above, Todai-ji temple.

Above, giant Buddha statue inside Todai-ji Temple.

Above, the top of the pagoda that used to be there.

Above, Nigatsudo Hall.

Above, path to Kasuga Taisha Shrine.

Above, forest path to the summit of Mount Wakakusa.

Above, view from the summit of Mount Wakakusa.

Above, on the way down from the mountain.

Above, deer in Nara Park, with Todai-ji in the background.

Above, Sento-kun, Nara’s mascot.


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