Nara Park (Deer crackers,location,history)

Nara Park, Deer crackers

The information about Nara Park is presented here. The Nara Park area is home to more than 1,000 deer, which have been designated as the national natural monuments. The deer are considered to be the messengers of Kasuga Taisha Shrine and are considered sacred. Incidentally, in August 2018, the Nara Deer Welfare Association, which protects the deer, confirmed that there were 1,360 deer, the highest number ever. Deer crackers are sold on simple stalls and vending machines.

【Nara Park Location Map & Directions】

Address: Nara City, Nara Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Todaiji-Daibutsuden/Kasugataisha-mae (about 3 minutes on foot), Kintetsu Nara Station (about 5 minutes on foot), JR Nara Station (about 15 minutes on foot)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: 24 hours
Closed: open year round

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】

Individual: Free

【Nara Park History】

Nara Park (奈良公園) is an urban park located in Nara City, Nara Prefecture. Nara Park was established on February 14th, 1880, by renovating the precincts of Kofuku-ji Temple and the area of Sarusawa Pond, which had fallen into disrepair due to the separation of Shinto and Buddhism (Haibutsu Kishaku) after the Meiji Restoration. Later, parts of the precincts of Todai-ji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine, and mountain forests such as Ho-yama, Kasuga-yama, and Wakakusa-yama were added. Incidentally, the total area of Nara Park is about 502 hectares. Including Todai-ji Temple, Kofuku-ji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, etc., it is about 2 kilometers from north to south and about 4 kilometers from east to west, with a total area of about 660 hectares. There are more than 1,000 deer in the area around Nara Park, which has been designated as a national natural monument. It is said that the deer are sacred as messengers of the Kasuga Taisha Shrine and are highly protected. Nara Park includes Noborioji-enchi, Asajigahara-enchi, Araike-enchi, Ukigumo-enchi, Kasugano-enchi, Chayama-enchi, Totoato-enchi, Sarusawaike-enchi, and Mitorii-enchi. Nara Park has held Nara Tokae since 1999, and Nara Rurie since 2010.
*reference・・・Nara Park website

【Nara Park Highlights (May be undisclosed)】

★Noborioji-enchi (登大路園地) is the first entrance to Nara Park that tourists see from Kintetsu Nara Station on the Kintetsu Nara Line. Noborioji-enchi was once the precinct of Kofuku-ji Temple, the main temple of the Hosso sect, and it still borders the precinct of Kofuku-ji Temple today. Noborioji-enchi extends to the north and east of the Kokuho-kan (National Treasure Museum) of Kofuku-ji Temple.
★Asajigahara-enchi (浅茅ヶ原園地) is located on the south side of the Kasuga Taisha Shrine approach road that leads from Ichi-no-torii Gate to Honden (Main Shrine), in a hilly area with a variety of topography. Asajigahara-enchi is home to Ukimido, which was built on top of Sagi-ike Pond, and Kataoka-bairin (plum forest), which is famous for its plum blossoms. Asajigahara-enchi is considered the most scenic place in Nara Park.
★Araike-enchi (荒池園地) is centered around Ara-ike Pond, which was built in the Meiji period (1868-1912). In Araike-enchi, willow trees are planted along the shore of Ara-ike Pond, and there is a green lawn and benches. Araike-enchi also has a collapsed mud wall along the road. The earthen wall is said to be related to Kofuku-ji Temple, which used the area as a precinct.
★Ukigumo-enchi (浮雲園地) is located on the east side of the Todai-ji Temple approach road that leads from the Daibutsuden intersection to Nandai-mon gate. Ukigumo-enchi is located in the center of Nara Park and has a large lawn. It is said to be one of the best places to relax in Nara Park, where you can see many deer eating buckwheat and resting.
★Kasugano-enchi (春日野園地) is located on Wakakusa-yama to the east, Daibutsuden (Great Buddha Hall) of Todai-ji Temple to the northwest, Nandai-mon Gate of Todai-ji Temple to the west, and Ukigumo-enchi to the south. Kasugano-enchi is said to have a beautiful contrast between the green reflected in the water surface of Sansha-ike Pond next to Todai-ji Temple and the green that connects Kasugano-enchi to Wakakusa-yama and Kasuga-yama, and has been designated a Nara Prefectural Landscape Asset. Kasugano-enchi borders Ukigumo-enchi, and the Yoshiki-gawa River, also known as the Mizuya-gawa River, flows through it, originating in Kasugayama Forest.
★Chayama-enchi (茶山園地) is located between the Nara Kasugano International Forum Iraka~I-RA-KA~ on the west side and Wakakusa-yama on the east side. Chayama-enchi is planted with Nara-no-Yaezakura, the prefectural flower of Nara Prefecture and the city flower of Nara City, and is used as the city emblem of Nara City.
★Totoato-enchi (東塔跡園地) is located on the east side of the Todai-ji Temple approach road that leads from Nandai-mon Gate to Daibutsuden (Great Buddha Hall), on the east side of Kagami-ike Pond. To-to (East Pagoda) of Todai-ji Temple was once built in Totoato-enchi. It is said that To-to (East Pagoda), built in the Nara period (710-794), was more than 70 meters high.
★Sarusawaike-enchi (猿沢池園地) is located on the south side of Kofuku-ji Temple. Sarusawa-ike Pond is an artificial pond with a circumference of about 360 meters that was built in 749 as a hojo-chi (pond) for Kofuku-ji Temple to hold its hojo-e. Sarusawa-ike Pond has been a scenic spot since ancient times, and is one of the three best places to view the moon, along with Osawa-no-ike Pond at Daikaku-ji Temple in Kyoto Prefecture and Ishiyama-dera Temple in Shiga Prefecture.
★Mitorii-enchi (みとりい池園地) is a long, narrow enchi (parkland) located on the west side of the prefectural governor’s building along Route 369 near the eastern junction of the prefectural office.

【Events (confirmation required)】

★Shika-Yose (鹿寄せ) is held in winter, summer and other seasons. At Shika-Yose, the natural horn is played, and the sound attracts deer from the depths of the forest to Tobihino. The natural horn is said to play songs such as Beethoven’s “Pastoral”. The deer that gather are rewarded with acorns.
★Nara Tokae (なら燈花会) is held every year from early August to mid-August. During Nara Tokae, about 20,000 candles are lit in the Nara Park area (Ukigumo-enchi, Asajigahara-enchi, etc.), which is surrounded by the world heritage sites of Todai-ji Temple, Kofuku-ji Temple, and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Events are sometimes held at Nara Toukae.
★Nara Rurie is held every year from early February to late February. Nara Rurie connects Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Kofukuji Temple, and Todaiji Temple, all of which are World Heritage Sites, with a fantastic corridor of lapis lazuli-colored light. In Nara Rurie, illumination and various events will be held in the garden of the Nara Kasugano International Forum Iraka~I-RA-KA~.

【Flower Calendar (cherry blossoms, etc )】

★The best time to see cherry blossoms (桜) is from late March to late April. About 1,700 cherry trees, including Nara-no-yaezakura, Nara-no-kokonoezakura, Somei Yoshino, Yama-zakura, and weeping cherry blossoms, are planted in the vast park, including Wakakusa-yama, Ukimido, Kasugano-enchi, and Totoato-enchi, and the scenery of the cherry blossoms, Wakakusa-yama, Ukimido, Sagi-ike Pond and deer is beautiful.
★The best time to see autumn leaves (紅葉) is from late October to early December. Maple trees, cherry trees, and ginkgo trees are distributed, and the scenery of the autumn leaves, deer, Wakakusa-yama, Sagi-ike Pond, Ukimido, Ukigumo-enchi, Asajigahara-enchi, and Kasugayama primeval forest is beautiful.
★The best time to see plum blossoms (梅) is from late February to mid-March. About 250 plum trees are planted in Kataoka Bairin (Kataoka Plum Grove), including red plum trees, white plum trees, and Genpei-sakiwake plum trees that bloom white and red flowers on a single plum tree.
(The best time to see the plants depends on the climate of the year.)

【Telephone (Please refrain from making phone calls.)】

Tel: +81-742-22-0375

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended walking route from Nara Park is to Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Kasuga Taisha Shrine is associated with the deer that live in the Nara Park area and is popular with tourists from Japan and abroad. In addition to the main shrine, Kasuga-taisha also has several branch shrines, such as Wakamiya Shrine, which are recommended to be visited together. Kasuga Taisha is also home to about 2,000 stone lanterns.

【Remarks(access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】
If you plan to visit Nara Park, be sure to check the latest information.


  1. 柳生一刀石
  2. 若草山
  3. 吉野山