As much as any temple, Nara Park is a focal point for life in the historic city. Established in 1880, the expansive public area covers around 660 hectares and includes many of Nara’s most notable attractions including Todai-ji, Kasuga Taisha, Kofuku-ji and Nara National Museum. Most famously, the park is populated by more than one thousand deer that have become a symbol of the city.
Visitors are allowed to feed them and the official line is that some deer have learned to bow in asking for food – feel free to question how that might have come about. While some visitors find this experience enjoyable, the deer can be aggressive and intimidating for children and are known to bite the buttons of peoples’ clothing, mistaking them for food.
The park is most easily accessed from Kintetsu-Nara Station, from where its only a couple of minutes walk to the outer areas of the park before paths quickly lead into its interior and onto its many attractions. A pleasant place to spend time at anytime the year, the park is arguably at its most beautiful from late-October into November thanks to the autumn leaves with mornings and afternoons bathing the park with soft light which makes it ideal for capturing those precious photographs.
Accessible all times of day
Admission is free
Nara Park is most easily accessed from Kintetsu-Nara Station from where it's only a short walk to the outer areas