Nara has a special place in my heart, as the day trip we had was magical! A stop in Nara is mandatory while you travel in the Kansai region. Near Kyoto and Osaka, the ancient capital of Japan is well known for its beautiful wild deer, but it is also a city full of temples and shrines. Let me tell you about my favorite places in Nara for your future visit to the magical city of deer!
How to get to Nara
If you are staying in Kyoto or Osaka, the easiest and fastest option is the train, especially the JR Line which takes 45 to 55mn to arrive in Nara. The train is my favorite transportation in Japan; it is clean, on time and it gives the possibility to admire the Japanese countryside. Nara station is walking distance from the park, temples and restaurant area.
Throwback to my day in Nara
The first thing in my mind was to meet my new buddies – the deer! What a joy when I saw the first one chilling in front of the Pagoda. Seeing the deer looking for some
huge, I mean some food down the beautiful wooden Pagoda steals my heart. I was so excited, and I was desperately looking to get some biscuits. Followed by my new friends, I arrived at the deer paradise “Nara park”. A huge public park full of deer, I had probably stayed 3 hours and had so much fun.
Here again a proof of the legendary kindness of Japanese people, I was feeding a dear, while a man came and offered me foods and showed me a fun way to feed them.
+ TIPS: Here are the tips; hold the food in your hand in front of the deer, he will bow (like a Japanese greeting), and after 3 times you can release the biscuit. Gosh, even the deer are so polite!
Specific biscuits are available for sale in Nara park; business is business…
Then it was my favorite time of the day, “lunch time” … The craving of the day was the Okonomiyaki. I wanted to try this Japanese traditional dish for so long.
We tried a famous restaurant in Nara called Okaru, the reference for Okonomiyaki. Originally from Osaka, this dish is eaten in all of Kansai.
Okononon what? “Okonomiyaki” is a Japanese pancake cooked with sliced cabbage, eggs and many other ingredients as pork, octopus, tuna, seafood, vegetable… You decide the ingredient you wish to add into the yummy preparation and then the cooking show begins! Seated at your table the chef cooks it in front of you, cuts it, turns it and add all the toppings. I can tell you that it is mouthwatering! We had the Nara version with octopus and another one with pork, it was so tasty as always in Japan!
We went across the city and ended our day trip by visiting Nara & temples.
Few places to consider: