Nara Koen

Nara Koen is home to one thousand deer running rampant, some stroll around with no cares what so ever and others pull at your clothes the minute they spot deer cookies. Be prepared for a lot of walking and the headbutts of some hungry deer. As soon as your cookies are gone however, they lose interest and trot off. Considered to be divine creatures, they roam Nara Park, walking up and down the streets alongside hurrying business men. A day in the park though will make you smell a bit like a zoo so be forewarned. 

If you get a chance to, I recommend hopping on and having a ride on the pulled rickshaw, expertly driven by friendly and lovable locals whose calves are so defined and strong. They seem to float off the ground, feet barely touching as they pull you along. They're swift and move with ease, often times giving a tour to you as they run through Nara Park. You can plan with them at the beginning where on the map you wish to go, or if you don't have a particular destination you can ask for timed travel stop. We requested a ride to the Todai-ji Temple which took about 10 minutes and our guide led us down little ally ways we otherwise would have missed, even pointing to a popular ramen noodle restaurant we would have surely never guessed existed where it was. 

Nara is also home to the world's largest bronze Buddah, Daibutsu at Todai-ji Temple and some of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen. Borrowed scenery is so obvious in the gardens of Nara, most of which are free for tourists but cost an admission of about 500Y if you're a local. Walking through the gardens you can see gardeners hard at work, dedicated and patient, the weeds are individually pulled out and chemicals avoided. Walking through these tea houses and gardens was so uplifting and contemplative, most of the GoPro footage we have is of us quietly walking through gardens trying to take in all of the beauty and serenity on offer, albeit interrupted every so often with the sound of shoes crunching on gravel.