Feeding Deer in Japan’s Nara Park – They Bow, Too!

Travel Tips

How to Get to Nara Park & What to Expect

For animals lovers, a day trip to Nara is an absolute must. At Nara Park, you can spend time feeding, bowing with, and taking photos of the hundreds of freely roaming deer.

From the Station to Nara Park

The easiest way to get to Nara is by train. You will either arrive at the JR Nara Station or the Kintetsu Station. For the JR Nara Station, expect a 15 to 20-minute walk. For the Kintetsu Station, turn right outside of the station and walk up the sidewalk for a short 5-minutes.

Find out how to properly get to Nara from Osaka (and how not to take the wrong train).

Nara Park
As you walk up the sidewalk towards Nara park, you will know you are heading in the correct direction as you will already start to see the deer! There are even signs on the road for cars to beware of deer crossing
Nara Park
You do not even have to reach the park to start to interact with the deer right on the sidewalk just before entering the park. Many of the deer venture out from the park as they follow people that still have deer crackers on them

 

Taking Photos & Feeding Deer in Nara Park

The deer are freely roaming animals. They mostly stay in the park itself, while few venture out onto the sidewalk and street if they are following people with deer crackers.

They are tame creatures that may become aggressive (as in jump on you like a dog or chase you a little faster) if they sense that you will feed them and smell deer crackers on you.

They only consume the deer crackers that are sold by vendors throughout the park.

And because you are in Japan, these deer know how to bow! They bow to ask for crackers and if you also bow with them.

Nara Park
Take as many photos when them as you like! They are sprawled all over the park either walking around or resting. Even if it rains, the deer are still in the park and likely to be hiding under the trees for shelter from the rain
Nara Park
Once you take out your purchased deer crackers, they will hungrily approach you. Do not be afraid, they just want a snack. Just move slow and do not run away, as they will run after you in hopes of having more crackers

 

Watch my video below of my friend feeding deer at Nara Park

 

A Note About How to Treat the Deer

Respect the deer. It might seem obvious, but you will be surprised and heartbroken when you witness tourists horrifically mistreating the deer

We actually witnessed a boy throwing his crackers at the deer while menacingly laugh, and his family did not stop nor correct him.

The most common offense was leaving plastic bags and litter in the park and next to the deer who end up eating and consuming the trash. No!

You wouldn’t eat plastic or trash, so why would you leave it on the ground for the deer to eat. Pick up your trash!

 


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