Wild deer roam the streets of the Japanese town of Nara. The nearly 1200 deer that surround the park are considered messengers of the gods. Though wild, Nara’s deer are incredibly tame. There are deer crackers for sale around the park and the deer will eat right from your hand.
Nara is also home to Todaiji Temple, or “Great Eastern Temple”. It is one of Japan’s most famous temples. The main hall in Todaiji is the world’s largest wooden building and houses one of Japan’s biggest bronze Buddah statues. The Buddah’s open hand is as tall as a human. The hall definitely lives up to its name, Daibutsuden (Big Buddah Hall).
Kaduna Taisha is Nara’s largest shrine and is famous for its lanterns, all of which were donated by worshipers. The lanterns, some constructed of bronze and others of stone, are lit twice a year. Once in February and a second time in August to celebrate the Lantern Festivals.
The Kofukuji Temple is another historical building that remains in Nara. Its most recognized feature is the five-story pagoda, which is the second tallest in Japan, sitting at 50 meters high.
Entrance into the grounds at Kofukuji is free, however there is a fee to see the National Treasure Museum that sits on the property and exhibits an extensive collection of the temples original artworks, including the famous three-faced, six-armed Ashura Statue.
Nara is rich in cultural and historical significance. Whether nature, art, or history, Nara has something to offer everyone.