Andrew’s world in Japan 2017/August

Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring the creative process & connecting with other creative people.

A Visit to Nara – Part 4
Feeding The Sacred
Stepping Into Nara Kōen

As we exited the trails of lanterns, the view opened to a wide grassy expanse. The deer were abundant and clearly dotting the landscape in unison with plenty of tourists. The sun was beaming and the weather was fine. We had stepped into the massive Nara Kōen [奈良公園].
If you are walking from Kintetsu Nara Station, it’s only about 5 minutes. Julien and I walked the length of the area, wandering our way to this point. The energy of Nara definitely draws you deeper. This massive park established in 1880 has nothing similar in the region. During the time Buddhism held significant influence in the area Nara flourished. Many attribute this collection of magnificent attractions to the area’s prosperity.
This was just another part of our time spent strolling through. If you are aiming to take a quick getaway day trip from Osaka or Kyoto, it’s totally doable. Even better is to pick up that special Nara World Heritage three-day pass. It allows access to the Kintetsu Railway and Nara Kotsu buses. Taping this expands your reach of Nara to include Ikaruga and Yoshio areas. Many of the beautifully intricate temples and shrines to visit are free to enter. Others have special areas or exhibitions that charge, like Todai-Ji Temple’s main hall, which costs ¥ 500.
That moment, just taking in the large area of green, overlooking the view of Todai-Ji, the Nara National Museum, Kofukuji, the gardens and Mt. Wakakusayama, was serene. I paused to take it in. Standing there, observing the scene, it’s completely understandable that this has been declared a Historic World Heritage site. Only moments past before I had purchased some deer crackers and rapidly became entangled with several large bowing deer. These guys wasted zero time gobbling every morsel out of my hand and then egging me on for more. Seriously, it was a miracle I didn’t lose a finger. More or less tame, they can become pushy when they believe food is near.