Nara Day Trip from Osaka Itinerary: Nara Park Deers , Todai-ji , Nakatanidou Mochi Pounding

Oh Dear... we are heading to Nara Park to visit the famous deer.

If you are in Osaka for a holiday, a day trip to Nara Park is a must-do. Located only 40 minutes away from Osaka, it is easy to plan a trip out to Nara Park.

The Journey
Train to Nara
As we were staying in Dotnonbori, we headed to Osaka-Namba station and board the subway (Kintetsu-Nara Line) heading for Kintetsu-Nara. The ride is an easy 40 minutes away. Within a blink of an eye, we were at Nara.
Hello Dear

Close Encounters
Deer meets boy
Heading towards Nara Park was easy. Upon exiting the station, you simply turn right (facing the main road) and walk. Within 50 metres, you would have your first encounter with the deer. To prepare yourself with a close encounter, head to one of the vendors and purchase a packet of deer crackers (¥150) to feed the deers.

We do recommend at least 2 packets as there are over thousands of deers in Nara Park!

Do not be mislead by their charms. If you do not feed them enough, there will be the more aggressive ones that will constantly badger you or even chase you for a meal. The little one was almost head-butted by a deer when he ran out of food to feed.
Thankfully, we found a few tame deers. Look for the hornless ones, they are usually mild and some may even be willing to pose a photo with you.
Taller than us

We made a quick stop at Kofuku-Ji. This is one of the eight Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara on the Unesco World Heritage List. Kofuku-Ji has a 5 storied Pogoda that is the second tallest in Japan.
Sweet Potato
Sweet Potato or Yaki Imo is considered as one of the local delicacies in Nara. We spotted this cart that we had seen before in Only in Japan Video and decided to give it a go.

The sweet potato is grilled without additional flavouring. It cost ¥200 for every 100 g. Our sweet Potato comes in a whopping 0.5 kg. Given the 'hungry deer' effect, we were just as famished and dug into our first bite.
As hungry as deers

When you are in Nara, you have to visit the Todaiji Temple. This is one of Japan's most famous and historically significant temple. Along the way, you will also see Nara Deers. We decided it is a good time to take a Dearfie with one of them.
Let's take a Dearfie
The main hall, The Daibutsuden is the largest wooden building. It is not the original but a replica build 2/3 of its size in 1692

It is a popular place of worship for locals and tourists alike.

The 15 metres seated Daibutsu (Buddha) greets you at the entrance of the main hall. This bronze Buddha is one of the largest you can find in Japan. The seated Buddha represents Vairocana.

It is flank by 2 golden Bodhisattvas on either side.

Inside you will come across several other smaller statues.
Guard 1
There is even a hole in the pillar at the back that has the same dimension as Daibutsu's nostril. If you are able to climb through it, you will obtain enlightenment. Given Dad's size, he has no chance and decided it is much wiser not to try.
Guard 2

Outside the temple is a seated man statute clothe in red. This is Binzuru, Pindola Bharadvaja. The statue is said to have healing properties. Touch the part of it and the same corresponding part of your body and you will be healed.

Upon exiting Todai-Ji, you might like to stop by Tamukeyama Hachiman-gu Shrine nearby.
Tamukeyama Hachiman-gu Shrine
Soon it was time for us to take our leave from Nara Park. Before that, we just had to say sayonara to our newfound friends.
Sayonara Deers
Mochi Pounding Nakatanidou

Higashimuki Shopping Street,
Before heading back to the station, we made a stop at Nakatanidou. Located at the end of Higashimuki Shopping Street, it is a roadside shop that sells Mochi.

The reason why there are so many people loitering around is because of the 'Mochi Pounding show'. The Mochi masters will pound and make the Mochi on the spot. The Masters used their hands and large mallet-like pastels in quick succession to make the Mochi soft
Add caption
This dramatic process is best experienced live, so check out the video below.

The result is the soft and chewy yomogi mochi that is filled with red bean paste.

Get one and eat it on the spot!


As we made our way to the station, we stumbled upon the Narakirisuto Church. Located near the middle of Higashimuki Shopping Street, you would have to climb up a flight to steps to see it.
Narakirisuto Church
This quaint Anglican church is housed in a traditional Japanese building. Inside, the church setting is familiar. There is even a large organ found there.

Narakirisuto Church Organ

Soon it was time to make our way back to Osaka. A day trip to Nara is highly recommended if you stay in Osaka for a longer period of time. If you prefer to take a tour, you can consider booking one with Klook. If time is an issue, we recommend the Nara and Arashiyama (Kyoto) Bamboo forest in one day!

Book Klook's Nara Afternoon Tour from Osaka
Book Klook's Nara and Arashiyama Bamboo Forest(Kyoto) Day tour from Osaka

Want to see more of our Osaka Trip?
Here are our 8 Days Osaka Itinerary for Family

Drop us an email here if you would like us to plan your holidays. For a small fee, we will be able to customise an itinerary according to your requirements.

The Deers are awaiting

The post is written at our own expenses. If you think you benefit from it and would like to support us, do click on the links above to purchase the tickets from Klook at no extra cost to you. In turn, we will receive a small remuneration to support this website. Thank you!

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