December 22, 2013

Oh Deer Nara!

All good things must come to an end. Would be flying back to Malaysia at midnight today. So I've got a whole day to enjoy before leaving.

Before the trip, one of my friends suggested I go to Kobe. It's a beautiful city, he told me. Then I read about Nara. Hmm.. this city is interesting too. Both are about the same distance from Osaka so it was pretty equal.

In the end, I chose Nara.

So I checked out from the hotel early in the morning, and took the train to Namba station. Kept my bag in the coin locker here since I was going to take the train to the airport from this station. The locker cost 400 yen. Ok la since it would save me a lot of time.

Took the Kintetsu Railways instead of JR since the places that I wanted to visit in Nara were closer to the Kintetsu station. 35 minutes later, I was already at Kintetsu Nara station. There's a Tourist Information Centers at the train station so I stopped by to grab a copy of the city map.

I was more inclined going to Nara because of the famous Nara Park. The park is located in central Nara, and contains a number of attractions. And most importantly, it is home to hundreds of freely roaming deer. How appealing is that?

In the past, the deers were considered sacred since they were believed to be the messengers of the gods. Now, they are no longer sacred, but designated as National Treasures.
 whatcha looking at??
 mommy loving

The deers were amusing. They roamed in front of the shops like people window shopping. hehe...
See the water container? Got deer logo somemore. So cute!

Visitors can purchase deer crackers around the park to feed them.
But beware! Even though they are tame, some of these animals can be rather aggressive I tell ya.
While I was amused watching the deers in front, two deers came silently from behind and one of them snatched the map I was holding! What the damn hell??? A deer just stole my map??  
they stole this map!
I tried to snatch it back but they became aggressive. Scared they'd bite me, I took a step backward. A few seconds later, both deers were fighting with each other. The map was torn into two, and both deers happily ate their portions. The whole time, I could only watched, standing there open mouthed. Stunned at what just happened.

Okay.. perhaps they were hungry.
Luckily no one was injured in the drama. To prevent injuries to the people and protects the deer from hurting each other, their antlers were cut.

I read that there's an annual event for it, called Shika no Tsunokiri (deer antler cutting ceremony). It is held at the deer park at Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Go check it out if the event happens during the timing of your visit. I think we can't see event like this outside Nara. 


Deers aside, I headed to the entrance gate of Todai-ji. Later on the temple...

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