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See Cherry Blossom in Nara and Feed the Deer ( 奈良公園の散り桜と鹿 )

singapore travel blogger nara park japan deer
Travelling to Osaka soon? Make a day trip to Nara ( 奈良 ), which is a just short distance away by train from Osaka. Nara Park ( 奈良公園 ) is known for its free-roaming deer and houses some of the World Heritage temples. Regarded as messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion, Nara’s deer have become a symbol of the city and have even been designated as a national treasure.

singapore travel blogger explores nara park feeding deer
singapore parenting blog osaka nara park tour
Last April, I had a great time visiting Nara Park with friends. We had so much fun feeding the deer, a unique experience compared to all my other travels. It was also a beautiful sight with Sakura flowers blooming everywhere in the park. So this February, I decided to take my family there; I wanted to show my prince the lovely Nara. The three of us flew from Singapore to Osaka and stayed there for about 2 weeks, and then making day trips to Kobe and Nara. Winter is especially cold this year, with a -2°C on the day we were there.

Well, I have also included a video in two parts – Spring and Winter, so you guys can see the different scenery. Hope you will enjoy reading as much as I had fun writing this post.

tourists in nara park feeding deer
Take a 10-minute leisure stroll towards Nara Park from the Kintetsu-Nara Station ( 近鉄奈良駅 ), and be greeted by countless deer.

osaka nara park shika senbei deer crackers
Deer feeding is an attraction in Nara Park, and visitors can purchase Shika Senbei ( (鹿煎餅) for 150 yen, special crackers which are available in the park.

singapore parenting blog nara deer feeding adventure
It is said that some deer have learnt to bow to visitors and ask to be fed. But trust me, it was not an easy task making them bow as most of them are rushing for food like hungry bears.

The deer in Nara Park are relatively tamed but be careful not to piss them off as they may turn aggressive. You may get couple of forceful ones pulling your clothes for food.

Here’s a snippet of Deer Bites Reported at Nara Park due to Tourist Influx:

“Famed wild deer in the city of Nara appear to be growing increasingly frustrated with tourists who make them wait to munch on crackers while trying to frame the perfect photo”, The Japan Times reported.

“The number of injuries caused by the deer in Nara Park hit a record 164 cases between April 1 2017 and January 31 this year, up from the 118 cases reported in the previous fiscal year”, the Nara Prefectural Government said.

why nara deer do not have horns
You may also wonder why most deer do not have " horns " in Nara Park. That is because of the Nara Deer Antler-Cutting Ceremony, which was implemented to reduce on the number of people getting injured as buck deer can become quite aggressive during the autumn breeding season. The deer are known to charge at residents and visitors of Nara, and butt them with their antlers.

osaka nara park instagram worthy spot with deer
osaka nara park free roaming deer national treasure
deer feeding in nara park japan
Hair Colour By: Mosche Grand Hyatt
On the whole, these celebrity deer are rather well behaved and it was great fun playing with them. Try bowing to the deer before feeding them, and see if they return the gesture. Do not be disappointed if they don’t; practice makes perfect. My friends and I failed miserably on the first trip as the deer were all rushing to snatch my food, and my deer crackers were gone in seconds. However, I had better luck on my second trip though it was not as smooth sailing. I also got smarter by breaking the crackers apart instead of giving them the entire pieces.

japan tourism board nara park singapore travel blogger
If you have time, spend a relaxing morning in Nara Park and get close and personal with the deer. Enjoy the scenic sight while sitting with them. There are quite a handful of lazy ones lying around, probably after a heavy meal. This is the time for some instagram-worthy shots. Nara Park is certainly the place you want to be.

osaka nara park deer poo
Warning: Watch out for deer poo! Small, big, they are everywhere in the park; you wouldn’t want to step on one. Lol!

See Nara in Spring with Cherry Blossom:

japan cherry blossom osaka nara in spring
sakura festival osaka nara in spring deer feeding

Nara in Winter

osaka nara park sightseeing guide wild deer
be greeted by countless deer in nara park

How to Get to Nara Park:

osaka namba to nara train map
osaka nara rapid express train
osaka kintetsu nara station express train
Getting to Nara is really easy. From Osaka Station to Nara Station, it takes approximately 50 minutes by JR Rapid Express. But if you are going from Osaka Namba Station, it will only take you about 30 minutes by express train to reach the Kintetsu-Nara Station ( 近鉄奈良駅 ).

Access to Nara Park:

osaka nara train station guide
nara park sightseeing guide temple map
Special shuttle buses to Nara Park are available at the Nara Station, but I would suggest that you take a leisure stroll to Nara Park from the station if it is your first time there. You can always take the shuttle bus on your way back when you are tired after a long day at the park.

Have you been to Nara in Japan? What was your experience like playing with the deer? Check out our video specially for you!

todaiji temple in spring cherry blossom
Next stop, I shall be taking you to visit Todaiji Temple ( 東大寺), a UNESCO World Heritage Site!


  1. Very friendly deers. Did some bow to you for food??

    Haven't travel to Japan before. Would love to one day. Osaka is a lovely place I heard.

    1. Only on the 2nd trip, dear! Not easy........ Hahaha!

  2. shilly , what are you doing my lovely blogger firendsss ? you looks so cute ....

    one day , ı will come japan ( wakayama , ı have a friend there ) :)

  3. I have been to Nara and seen the deers but I did not dare to go near them.

    1. Omg, it’s such a waste! Perhaps next time? xoxo

  4. Cute deers. I want to feed them too. :)

  5. My day in Nara was fulfilling as well. Great memory.

  6. What a gorgeous setting with the cherry trees in bloom! Thanks for sharing another fun adventure.

  7. So cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute! I love these pics!
    Kisses, Paola.


  8. Such a nice park, cute photos dear!

  9. I'm surprised the deers got that close to you.

  10. Oh wow it must be such an incredible experience to get up close with the deer like that.

  11. Such beautiful trip and experience! Those deers are so cute and adorable!
    Beautiful photos!

  12. They are so sweet... It's great trip for children :)

  13. I've never been to Nara in Japan. It's my dream to visit Japan some day...and Singapore too! So lovely you were able to visit this nice park. Those deer are so cute. They look hungry too or maybe they're just so used to being feed by tourists they come rushing as soon as they see those crackers. I can imagine them becoming impatient with tourists who want to take their photographs before feeding them. I think it's normal they're impatient to eat, all animals are like that. It seems you had a nice time feeding them. I think most animals are well behaved if we treat them with respect. Those cases where tourists were attacked by the deer were probably the fault of tourists themselves, more than the deer. That being said, deer can be very aggressive during the mating season so in that period we all need to beware of them- I can understand why they cut their horns.

  14. I went Nara for the very first time with my mom dating back 5 years ago. Really miss this place so much, especially after reading your blog. Looking forward to go back again someday.

  15. Correct if I'm wrong, Shirley, but weren't there cases about the Nara deer trying to bite tourists recently? Either way, the cherry blossoms in Japan are worth the trip there! XD

    1. As mentioned in the news snippet above, more cases of tourists getting hurt have increased between April 1 2017 and January 31 this year. This is what I’ve learnt so far. Nevertheless, it’s still worth the trip! xoxo

  16. Oh dear! You took pictures of the poo! LOL!

    1. Hahaha! As the saying goes, “let the pictures do the talking”. xoxo

  17. OMG I want to dooooo thiiiiiss!!!! -

  18. I yet to Japan
    But alr in my travel wishlist :D

  19. I love cherry blossom so much and can't wait to see it fill Instagram feeds again once Spring arrives haha. These are lovely photos - especially of the deer! x

  20. Thanks for the interesting post! Have a nice evening)

  21. oh que parque tan bonito, tiene que ser estupendo tocar estos cervatillos, me encanta

  22. I was bitten by several deers in Nara after feeding them. Everyone laughed at poor me. I would like to go again and feed them. They really could bow when you actually bow to them first.

  23. What a wonderful experience, Shirley. Thanks for the poo warning ..haha! ^.^

  24. Great post dear thanks for sharing 😊


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