This was absolutely one of my favourite days from our recent trip to Japan.

Nara Park is home to around 1200 free roaming wild deer. Considered in Shinto faith to be messengers of the gods the deer have become a symbol of the city and been designated as a national treasure.

Because of this the deer are surprisingly tame as crowds of visitors appear every day with biscuits and offerings for them. Some deer have even learned to bow for food – how very Japanese!

Tom and I arrived in Nara just before the rush hour and had the place to ourselves. We wandered along the paths lined with beautiful mossy lanterns, towards the temples and finishing our walk in stunning peaceful woodland, which on this particular occasion had the most magical spots of sunlight breaking through the gaps in the tree canopy.

The deer were a joy to photograph and seemed to know the best, most photogenic, areas to stand in to attract maximum attention (and maybe even get some food).

We had an excellent morning away from the crowds and back into nature, almost forgetting that we were in Japan, apart from glimpses of the striking red temples and lantern lined paths. Being back in the woods and fresh air again was the kind of morning that we needed.

Here are a few photos from our day out in Nara.

Taken with my Nikon D60, on Fujifilm 200 with a  28-100mm lens.


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