From our Airbnb in Osaka it took about an hour to drive to Nara Park. Entrance is FREE! Nara Park is 660 hectares large so be prepared for a lot of walking if you want to explore more stuff there like museums, temples and waterfall trails. It's open 24 hours but there are separate opening hours and entrance fees for the museums within the park.
Feeding the free roaming deer there is an attraction in itself. There are special crackers are on sale by the entrance of the park. I think it was like around Sgd 2 for a stack of 5 or 6 crackers.
Here's the thing no one talks about in the IG posts, TikToks or blogs.... so it took me by surprise. Some of the deers are assholes and get quite aggressive when they see you have food. Like bloody hell, we had only just bought the food, stepped into the park... barely 10 metres in... was half way unwrapping the paper strip from the deer crackers when they started nipping at me. Like impatiently nipping at my arms and butt.
It's winter so we were all covered up, and the nips didn't hurt.. just felt like pinches. But I was worried for the kids. Interestingly though... the deer didn't try to bite MJ or Myla. The kids said they didn't get nipped at all. Only Adamson & I (and other adults) got rushed by deer. I guess they know to be gentle around the small kids and not push or nip at them.
So anyway after the feeding frenzy in that area... we walked a little further in and found a beautiful lake and the deer there were way way waaaaayyyy more pleasant to be around. The ones by the entrance super assholes. lol.
These deer approach you slowly, and they bow to ask for crackers. Super chill and we didn't feel hounded. But we used up most of our crackers feeding the ungrateful rude deer at the entrance area... lol.
So, my advice, if you don't want to get mobbed by deer, especially if you have babies or young kids with you. Buy the crackers at the entrance, don't open them, just keep in your bag. Then walk in past this big gate like structure in the pic below.
And you will find a beautiful lake, with calm, non assholic deer to feed.
We had lunch at a superb restaurant called Kitsune. They specialise in sukiyaki... yamato beef... oh so fresh and flavourful.
OMG this Beef Mabushi Gozen was to die for. The beef was so tender and the marinade was so tasty. I mosy defintely recommend your try this one dish. And I would eat it again in a heartbeat if we are ever back there.
All the dishes we ordered were so yummy. But my dish was especially delicious. Everyone else said their dishes were delicious too... but I dunno ah... I didn't taste theirs. I think it would be very hard to top what I tasted. So if you order the other dishes instead, I can't guarantee the same tastebud tantalising experience I had.