Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Nara, Deer Sanctuary

Beautiful Nara Park
The City of Nara, Japan, is unique in that the deer there are free-roaming and EVERYWHERE you go.  It's estimated there are 1,200 wild sika deer that have free range of Nara, and have been wandering around there for centuries.

Feeding the deer
The deer were once considered messengers of the gods, and when one encounters them, one bows.  Or gives them snacks.  I guess it works either way.  I've heard the deer will actually bow back.  That's cool.

George says the deer are quite aggressive, looking for food and literally prodding tourists into feeding them.  However, they are sweet and very tame, so they pose no real threat.

Petting the tame deer
Ever since I heard of this place, the notion of having free roaming deer throughout a city has delighted me.  The deer were demoted from being symbols of the Divine after World War II, but they are still considered National Treasures and are treated very well.

Tourists flock to the city, and I can certainly understand why.  I think the deer are beautiful.

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