It is common knowledge that humans are the dominating race on earth and that we have the best lives. We live in comfortable big houses with massive gardens that stretch on and on. Long gone are the days we needed to be wary about animals that could possibly attack us and we do not live in animal-infested areas. But what if I tell you that there is a place on earth where humans and animals coexist sharing the road, parks and forest. This place is called Nara and it is located next to Osaka. Nara’s population is not only measured by humans, but also by deer.
What is so special about Nara?
Yes, you read that right, in this town people share public space with deer that walk loose and live on their own. This is probably the most your car when a deer crosses and you will need to share the sidewalk with these furry friends. The people in Nara have become used to these furry friends and they do not mind them and are normal for them. In Nara the deers just walk past you like you are their neighbor, but this all changes if you were to happen to have a deer cookie in your hand. If you have a deer cookie in your hand then all the deer will come to you and try to get the cookie, they won’t hurt you but they will use you as a ladder to get to the cookie which is pretty funny to see (but it can hurt a bit).
What can you do in Nara?
Nara is basically a normal town (besides the deer of course), Nara does offer beautiful nature and temples that (in combination with the deer) complement each other perfectly. This combination creates the perfect picture: a deer enjoying nature with a temple in the background, it is the perfect place to relax for young and old. As mentioned above, Nara offers a lot of temples / shrines that you can visit and it also offers some really cool deer-themed restaurants.
My experience in Nara.
When I went to Nara I did not know what to expect, I only knew that there were some deers that lived in the town. I thought that there was a big deer-like zoo in the town. But when I left the station and walked down the road for some time that picture in my head quickly faded away, I saw deer everywhere: on the road, on the sidewalk and in the parks. It was truly a unique site to behold and something that you can not see anywhere else in the world.
When walking through the town it became very clear that the people of Nara were fully accustomed to the deers and that they lived in a cohesive society- like setting. It was a bit weird at first, but it became really relaxing and normal within about an hour and keep in mind that this is coming from someone who doesn’t really like animals in general (I only like to eat them but).