Omnomnom! Sembei!

This post isn’t about Shika Sembei at all! Oh, all right. Here’s a picture of me feeding a deer in Nara Park. I’ll be moving on to start covering Hong Kong soon, so my next few posts regarding Japan will be the last on the subject for a little while. After that I’m heading to…

Kofukuji, Nara, Japan

What was once a sprawling family temple complex of over a hundred and fifty buildings is now a small handful, but that small handful is of impressive historical significance. Kofukuji was founded in 710, the same time that Nara became Japan’s first ever capital city. The temple of the Fujiwara clan, its fortunes almost mirrored…

Kasuga-taisha, Nara, Japan

Established at the same time as the city itself, Nara’s most celebrated shrine is famous for its lanterns – and the deer, of course. Even the shrine’s chōzuya is carved in the shape of a deer. Lanterns are everywhere. They line the approach to the shrine, and gather around and between its buildings. Twice yearly,…

Tōdai-ji, Nara, Japan

Tōdai-ji, founded in 728, sits at the northern edge of Nara Park. As with much of Nara, the deer roam freely here, and small gates keep them from entering buildings. Entry to the grounds is at Nakamon, the Central Gate. Tōdai-ji’s most renowned features are the Daibutsuden, the world’s largest wooden building, and the Great…

Nara Park, Nara, Japan

Deer. They are what Nara are famous for, and they’re what thousands of visitors come to see. Considered the messengers of the gods in Shintō, the deer are designated a national treasure, and there are strict rules on interacting with them posted throughout the park. By “rules” I mean “warnings”. You see, the deer are…