T.J.'s Photos from Japan

Aneta with a deer in Nara Park. In ancient Nara the deer were believed to be messengers of the gods. As a result the deer of Nara were treated with reverence and allowed to roam freely. Harming a deer was even a crime, possibly punishable by death. Today, there are approximately 1200 relatively tame and fearless deer roaming Nara Park seeking food from tourists.

TJ feeding deer in Nara Park. Some of the local merchants have taught the deer how to "bow" and give them food as a reward. Consequently, many of the deer will approach you and bow if you have food. However, if you don't feed them after they bow some of the more aggressive deer will often resort to other means including nipping at your fingers, tugging at your clothes, or nudging you with there heads.

Stairway to the entrance of Kasuga Shrine in Nara Park.

A young deer standing amongst the many stone lanterns lining the path to the Kasuga Shrine in Nara Park.

Todaiji temple in Nara is the largest wooden structure in the world. Despite it's size, it is still only 2/3 of its original size, owing to a scaled back rebuilding after a fire destroyed it. The temple houses the worlds largest bronze statue, a massive 45 foot likeness of Buddha. The statue is appropriately called "Daibutsu" (or "Big Buddha") by the locals.

Three story high neon signs in Osaka.

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