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December 17, 2020

Nara Japan | Spring Photo Diary and Travel Guide

Annie Miller in Nara Japan

One comes to Nara for the bowing deer. We had April showers throughout our entire stay; but Nara’s beauty still pulled through.

Full on disclaimer – Nara was our second to last location on a 21 day road trip through Japan. We were tired. But also, it was April 2020 and shops and restaurants were making restrictions due to Covid-19. We loved Nara, but our perception of what there is to do here may be skewed by by our circumstances.

We’ll start with accommodations because 1. we quite enjoyed ours and 2. we spent a decent amount of our time here.

Stay at Piazza Hotel, Nara – This was in a wonderful location and the rooms had two full walls full of windows. The rooms were small but super clean and well designed. The hotel is attached to shops, a 7/11 and a bus and train station.

For food, we ate at a restaurant which I would not suggest, and mostly just snacked from 7/11. I need to make clear that 7/11 in Japan is LEGIT. Not like in the U.S. You can get healthy meals here.

Other than that, we explored Nara’s parks and of course, the bowing deer and all of Nara Park.

Bowing deer in Nara, Japan by Annie Miller

So…it was raining, and we didn’t buy food to feed the deer. This lead to a rather uneventful experience. But I didn’t have high expectations. We saw the deer. They were unamused by us. Because, well, we didn’t have food to give them.

Be warned they are A-GG-R-E-SS-IVE. These friends see humans and expect nibbles. They’ve simply been trained and programmed to have this association with humans = food. Once they saw we didn’t have snacks, they retreated. And don’t worry, the deer are deer…they’ll survive without humans feeding them. This was a legit concern from people while we were traveling (due to the pandemic). And I get it, but they aren’t fenced in and can roam Nara as they please.

Moving on…

Annie miller with bowing deer in Nara, Japan
Annie visiting bowing deer in Nara, Japan
pretty park in Nara Japan
Nate with the deer in Nara Japan

Don’t stop at the deer. Near the “deer area,” there are temples, bridges and many other places to explore. Even on a rainy day it was a very pleasant park to explore.

Annie Miller on a bridge in the park
Annie Miller in Nara Japan park
exploring the park with Annie Miller
Amazing buildings in Nara Japan

After a more centrally located Park (still Nara Park I assume), we headed into the woods for a shrine. There was no entry fee here and it was very easy to find and navigate.

Exploring a shrine in the woods with Annie Miller
beautiful shrine in the woods in Nara Japan
Annie Miller exploring the shrine in Nara

I know it looks like there is NO ONE in these photos. To be honest, it looks like that in most of our photos from the whole of Japan. But Nara was actually one of the more populated places we visited.

If you read my 21 Day Road Trip post, you know that borders to Japan were already closed to most countries when we arrived from Australia. So we truly did have Japan “to ourselves” under very unfortunate circumstances.

Our last location we stopped by was an old, what looked to be, wooden temple. You could pay to go inside. I just snuck my camera lens in through the curtains for a quick shot, and called it a day.

That about wraps up Nara. Based on our experience, you wouldn’t need more than one full day here. You could even take a day trip from surrounding areas if needed. We went for the deer and because it was between Hiroshima and Hakone.

That’s where we’re headed next! Hakone and Mt. Fuji! I was pretty freaking stoked on Mt Fuji. You’ll have to read the post to see my final impression. After Hakone we wrap up our epic 21 day road trip through Japan.

Want to visit Nara, Japan? Then pin this post for later!

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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