Our day trip to Nara was actually one of the most anticipated highlights of our trip since we've seen so many photos and heard from our friends' experiences about frolicking with wild deer at one of the oldest parks in Japan. Nara Park is a 1240 acre piece of land that is home to over 1200 free roaming sika deer, as well as dozen of restaurant, attractions, and temples.
We took the JR (Japan Rail) Nara line bright and early at 6:30am from Kyoto Station, and had a very smooth ride straight to the Nara Train Station. Originally, we had just planned to take the 20-minute walk from the train station to the park, but ended up hopping on one of the local buses that dropped us straight to the entrance (~200 yen). If you prefer to get even closer to the park via public transportation, consider taking the train straight to Kintetsu Station, which is only a 5 minute walk to the park. Since we couldn't use our Japan Rail passes to use this train line, we opted for the longer walk instead.
When you enter the vast park, you will see stands all over selling deer crackers in packs of about 10 (150 yen/pack). The deer absolutely LOVE these crackers and will pretty much pester you and continue to bow their heads until you give in and feed them. It's such a different experience being up close and personal with deer since the only deer we really grew up with are the ones that run through our backyards in New Jersey at night and run away when they see car headlights pull into the driveway. The deer at Nara, however, are so used to being around people that most of them are pretty calm and gentle and will even let them you pet them (maybe for extra long if you give them more crackers!)
We fed deer and took plenty of photos with them in a few different locations around the park, ultimately spending going through about 6-7 packs of crackers. There are so many beautiful temples and attractions including Todai-ji, Kasuga Taisha, Kofukuji and the Nara National Museum, so definitely go on a day where the weather is ideal for lots of walking!
Our dresses are both from AQUA, a brand that we both absolutely love from Bloomingdale's. On one of our after-work shopping trips a few months back, we spotted these lace beauties on sale and knew that we wanted to wear them somewhere in Japan. We pinned Nara to them very early on, and it's so exciting to see our vision of juxtaposition come to life months later!