Photo Diary: Nara Deer Park, Kyoto

I follow @natgeo on Instagram but I should tell you that the reason I decided to get my National Geographic Insta updates in the first place was this piece from Refinery29 titled Models Are Obsessed With This Instagram Account.

Probably not the deepest of reasons to follow something, but seriously, I'm so glad I was such a sucker because Nat Geo shares the most beautiful photos, but more importantly most of them appear with the intention to educate so you get to learn all these little fascinating tidbits of information from them.
Plus, if it weren't for Refinery29, those models and this photo, I most probably wouldn't have discovered Nara Park in Kyoto in time for my third trip to Japan!

Nara Park is huge, and I mean HU-U-U-GE, and its vast space is filled with supposedly more than 1000 deers. Nara Park doesn't seem to have any enclosure so these deers are seriously free to roam anywhere and everywhere.

This spot that Shah and I visited was just a small part of the whole of Nara Parkthe whole park is more like the whole stretch of a busy main road.
Good news: no fee entrance to Nara Park whatsoever! You get personal time with the deers for FREE, guys.

Hi you!

Seriously, this space is right next to a road and cars were just passing by, so it's really casual for the locals to see deers as they drive on running daily errands I suppose!

The deers mostly just lounged around, walked around or grazed on the grass. It's such a pleasure to watch them so up close as all these deers are just SO gorgeous.

Look at this little cutie pie!

If you feel like you want to get a lot more closer to the deers, feeding them would probably do it! You can buy these thin crackers at nearby shops which they seem to love. I have this annoying fear of getting bitten by them though so I didn't even  bother getting those crackers myself, but Shah bought a packet and, boy, wasn't that an experience for him!

This man, who I'm convinced is a regular at the park, was feeding the deers like a boss; once he got the deers to eat out of his hand (an idiom that's quite literal here) he started to take photos using his DSLR. 

I said like a boss because the deers can get VERY persistent if there's food in their sight; they were following Shah when he took out the crackers and would keep walking towards Shah non-stop, and Shah kept dodging his way out, which was actually entertaining to watch!

It seems like they could catch a whiff of hidden food in bags, too; I even witnessed a deer trying to rip off a bag off a girl's hand. I wonder if those poor deers are really just hungry all the time though (and probably super bored too).

So I got a little jealous when Shah started petting the deers, because apparently I have no girl-balls and wouldn't even TRY to touch them.
But it's OK. Next time Liyana, NEXT TIME.


I wasted some time trying to free up space on my iPhone because I had none left, WHAT? As a result, I have very limited cute photos/videos of deers on my iPhone.

Then I was like oh what the heck, I'm just going to record all this in my brain.
I did tiptoe a lot around the park though because I refused to get any deer poo on my Adidas, and I'm being 100% serious here. In my defence their poo is everywhere.

If I take this one home, wouldn't that be just the bee's knees? If could just potty-train it...

Since we spent a huge chunk of the day in Kyoto, Shah and I could only allocate one full hour for spending time with the deers, which is such a bummer. We're very determined to go again the future though, and make a whole day out of it! 
I'm really very glad and thankful for that one hour though because it was truly a special experience for us.

If you ever visit Japan, I definitely recommend you slot in Nara Park into your schedule!

Visit Nara Park's Wikipedia page to learn a little more about it.


  1. One of my favourite places! Been there twice but I don't mind going again and again again <3


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Hi, I'm Liyana

I'm a style & lifestyle blogger based in sunny (and ever humid) Malaysia. On The Good Weekender, you can find typed journals of my evolving modest personal style, travel adventures, skincare/beauty updates, home decor things, and stories of other bits and pieces of my everyday life. I hope you'll enjoy flipping through these pages of my virtual book!