The Rainy Day Deer

I’ve been in Japan a week now, and it’s safe to say the weather is not on my side. Things are gorgeous when the sun comes out, but I’ve only had one truly sunny day since I got here. The rest have all been variations of rain, clouds, fleeting sunshine and then more rain.

Still, I came a long way to see Japan, downpour be damned. Today I took the train to Nara, the ancient capital of Japan. How ancient? This year Nara is celebrating it’s 1300 anniversary. So yeah, kind of old.

Wandering through the downpour in my rain gear, I tried to compose a blog post on the advantages of sightseeing in the rain. I couldn’t do it. Walking around the rain sucks. It’s cold and uncomforatble and everything looks drab.

One group who wasn’t put off by the rain:

The deer of Nara have been living in the park for as long a history goes back. They have a distinguished lineage and are believed to be possessed by gods and roam around, fat, happy and fearless.

The first couple deer were a novelty and I photographed copiously. But there are actually hundreds of them, wandering nonchalantly along the paths.

Also they are really not shy:

Especially if you have some food for them. To them humans mean food, usually in the form of special biscuits you can buy from the vendors around town. Give them a cookie and their heart is yours:

That is until you run out. As soon as I fed one adorable little baby deer, a gang of it’s older brothers started circling me like sharks.

This little punk didn’t believe me when I told him I was out, and decided to go rummaging through my bags. All over the place I spotted deer nuzzling people’s pockets and purses.

When he found nothing of interest there he chomped me on the arm!

See that crazed look in his eyes? Make no mistake, he may seem cute, but for a biscuit he would kill you and everyone you love. Look at this poster of the deer beating up little girls and old ladies:

The temples in Nara are great (probably even greater in the sunshine) and include the world’s largest bronze buddha, but it was these crazy thug deer that truly brightened my day!

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35 thoughts on “The Rainy Day Deer”

  1. oh my god, they are like adorable pigeons.

    that sucks about the rain! when i was in spain last year, it rained the entire ten days, and i just kept telling myself over and over again “well, at least it keeps away some of the crowds!”

    …it still felt like a pretty sad trade off, but hey, at least that is something!

  2. That’s so crazy. Never would have thought deer would be rampant in Japan, but then again, why wouldn’t they be? Great pics and I also agree, that is an awesome sign.

  3. Hahaha–that is too funny! Domesticated animals do weird things. I know what you mean about dreary weather…it was like that almost the whole time I was in Istanbul earlier this year. It really can change the way a city looks and feels, and can make you feel kind of “blah.” I hope it clears up for you before you leave!

  4. Aww, sucks about the rain!!!

    The deer totally remind me of the kangaroo’s in Australia. Get ready! Most of the “wild” animals in Australia are pretty domesticated and will come right over to you.

    And forget about animal parks. They’ll all climb on you to get whatever food you’ve got!

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