Shika no fune Journal

Nara deer


Speaking of Nara, deer is the first thing that comes to your mind.

That is what the locals often hear when they announce that they are from Nara.

While answering that we also have other attractions in Nara,
perhaps it cannot be helped as it is certainly unique and peaceful scenery
that wild deer and people are roaming and relaxing together on the grass in Nara park.


It is also unusual in the world that wild animal around 1200 numbers and people
living together in the city centre.

There is no doubt that this situation has come to one of the tourist attractions
for travelers from all over the world.

The origin of this special scenery can be traced back to Nara Period.

There is a legend that the god our ancestors welcomed to protect the capital site in Nara,
arrived on the back of white deer. Since then, deer has been respected as a messenger of god.

In long history, the relationship between deer and people has been continued
under various changes and attempts, and finally result in today's environment
that both exist closely without fear or habituation.

People's effort supports this special relationship between wild deer and people.

A lot of deer crossing signs calls drivers attention on the roads around Nara park.


Drivers quietly wait until deer walk across the road even at commuting time.

In Nara park you will find public restrooms with fences to avoid deer's entry.
You also don't see any trash bins to avoid accidental ingestion of bin's contents by deer.

One of Nara's traditional event, Deers' antlers cutting ceremony has been
continued more than 300 years,and pregnant deer is sheltered to the special area,
so as to protect people from deer's attack.

(During breeding seasons deer could be quite aggressive.)

Deer is merged in scenery of Nara park everywhere.
Especially in summer, it feels nice and cool to see deer eating grass around water,
like Ukimido and Daibutsu Pond.

You might enjoy finding different impression of deer in different places during a stroll.

In summer, deer changes their fur from dark brown one to white dotted one.


Every deer has different white dotted pattern like our finger prints.

This summer pattern is said to have mimicked sunlight filtering through foliage.

On the other hand, their winter far is said to have mimicked brown leaves and trees.

From July, you will see quite a few baby deer in Nara park.


In addition, "Summer deer gathering" will be held from 9:30am on Sundays
and national holidays from July 16th to September 24th.

It may looks natural a lot of deer in Nara park today,
but you might enjoy Nara park and deer more
once you notice support and effort by local people behind that in long history.


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