5.12.2014

Japan Adventures // Nara + The Deer


Hello! I am officially sharing my first post about our travels in Japan! I wasn't exactly sure where to start, but I figured why not start from the beginning of our journey, in Nara! This was our first day of Japan and our plane arrived bright & early at 4am. We had to wait a few hours to redeem our train passes, but once we did, we took off on our four hour train ride straight for Nara! Now you may remember that I mentioned Nara, or more specifically all the deer that inhabit this place, in my Japan inspiration post. This was one spot we definitely weren't going to miss!
The park with all the deer was a short walk from the station, through bustling streets lined with shops and vendors. Luckily we were able to rent lockers in the train station to store all of our luggage in, so that was a definite life saver! I had already been dragging my belongings around from train to train like a little fool, so I was happy for a break (we weren't backpacking or anything on this trip, but we hadn't stopped at Dai's parents' house yet, which is where we were staying, so we had to lug everything with us).
Street vendors selling honey-smelling crackers to feed to the deer could be found on every corner throughout the park. They smelled pretty good actually and I was only slightly tempted to try a nibble (which I did not do, just for the record).
The deer know who has the food, and once they catch wind of it, they will follow you until you give in to them. Right after we purchased our crackers and were trying to make our way to the main part of the park, this deer became fixated on Dai and followed us for a good while. I just love the photo about and the progression of the scene in the photos below. Hilarious! Glad I caught that on camera.
This mama and daughter were just the cutest, and what I thought was most hilarious was that the deer wouldn't leave them be even though they didn't have any food. Also, I think the little girl was a good mix of frightened and entertained haha.

In addition to deer, there is also a huge temple named Todaiji Temple. As you can see, there were just busloads of students here to see this monument with their class, and of course, pet some deer. In fact, we saw many students in a lot of places we visited outside of Tokyo on weekdays, which became a kind of hilarious game of the American girl saying hi to all of them and making friends. Definitely a cultural highlight!
So, I know, this place is definitely a bizarre site to see. BUT really, it was awesome and I am so glad we went. All of the deer were actually very nice and super friendly. I even noticed that they would approach you and kind of bow. It was strange, but cool because I think they somehow knew their culture and that they were Japanese deer haha.

What adventure would be complete without some local snacks? Honey soft serve ice cream above (which, by the way, soft serve is found literally everywhere in Japan. And yes, this meant that I had ice cream basically every day of our trip. No regrets) and soy sauce flavored rice cracker below.
This photo pretty much sums this experience up and I think it is a good note to end this all on.

Hope you enjoyed the first installment of our Japan travels! Don't worry though, I will do my best not to spam this whole blog with talks of Japan forever ;)


13 comments:

Laura @ Inspiration.Sparks said...

YAY!!! I'm so excited to see the places you guys visited! What a fun experience! I love seeing Japan spam! ;)

Z K said...

I feel as though every time someone discusses Japan they talk about the deer! This looks like such a fun adventure - plus those deer-stalker photos are hysterical!

Kirsten Benham said...

OHHH man, a deer park, that is my dream! Isn't there a monkey park somewhere in Japan as well? Maybe I have imagined that up.

Kirsten | kirstenlearns.com

Sarah J said...

Going to Japan next week, LOVE LOVE LOVE your photographs, what camera did you use? Many thanks, S

carrymetwo.pixelago.com/

Jess // Foreign Room said...

I don't know what it is about the deer! They're just awesome. I have heard there is another area of Japan with deer too. Oh my goodness, deer stalkers. That's the perfect way to describe it. At least they're harmless?!

Jess // Foreign Room said...

Well I'm glad I have at least one person on board ;)

Jess // Foreign Room said...

Yes, there is a monkey park too! I think it is on a mountain somewhere? If I'm being honest, after looking at pictures of the monkeys, I thought they were creepy so I didn't add it to the list haha but I'm sure they are awesome!

Jess // Foreign Room said...

You're gonna have so much fun!!! Where are you going in Japan?
Thank you, girl! I shoot with my Nikon D3000. I've had it for nearly 5 years and it has been great to me!

Lublyou said...

It's so sweet that you get to fed the deer with the special crackers! Oh my, I need to go there!

Jess // Foreign Room said...

You definitely do need go here! It is awesome + adorable.

Jess // Foreign Room said...

Awesome! We stayed in Tokyo for one week and did a bunch of stuff like go to the Instant Ramen Museum in Yurakucho, the Contemporary Art Museum, Tokyo Sky Tree, shopping in Ameyakucho + Asakusa, a maid cafe, and a cat cafe. We did some crazy stuff haha. You can definitely e-mail me if you want some more details! Are you guys getting a Japan Railway pass? It is the greatest thing! We spent a week traveling around all over Japan with that. Went to some great places outside of Tokyo, too!

Sarah J said...

Got so much to sort out before next Friday it's been crazy. If we were gona go outside Tokyo we were gonna get the Japan Railway pass but as we're heading out of Tokyo just for 2 trips I don't think we are, but it's such a good deal! (researched everything for this trip! I'm a planner lol) Hopefully when myself and my otherhalf go back we'd probably would get it and explore round Japan maybe Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. Definitely the art museum, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo tower, Roppongi Hills and Akihabara. Researched few days ago and was thinking Asakusa, what did you think of it? Is it worth visiting shrine and surrounding city? So excited!! Thanks so much for your advice and chat :)

Jess // Foreign Room said...

Sounds like you have a lot of your plans put together! For us, the JR pass was totally worth it, as we took about 14 trips with it. I definitely recommend going to those cities outside of Tokyo on your next trip! Those were some of my favorite parts of Japan. All the things you have planned so far are great! We went to Asakusa and I really liked it. I think it will be more impressive to you to see the shrine since we had already gone to tons of shrines/temples outside of Tokyo! Its kind of fun how there are a bunch of touristy souvenir shops leading up to it and the shrine itself is pretty huge. Also, I meant that the Ramen Museum was in Yokohama, not Yurakucho! Although, we did go to Yurakucho to hop around izakayas and stuff to drink & eat :) It is my pleasure to share what I know! I'm just so excited for you and wishing I could go back right now :)

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