Nara Travel Guide
The ancient Japanese city of Nara, an hour east of Osaka, might be most famous to us for its map-eating deer, but being an ancient capital means it's also full of historical museums. And we have good news: Getting in to these museums is now going to be free for all foreign tourists.
It's really very simple: The governor of Nara says tourists have told him the entrance fees are too high, so he has decided that everyone who shows a foreign passport can get in for free.
This very friendly gesture starts from August 1 and includes four cultural, art and historical museums in Nara. We also think that the price of Japanese watermelons is too high, so perhaps the nice Nara governor could fix that for us too.
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After you reach a particular saturation level of sushi eating, you'll find yourself dying to immerse yourself in that überculture which is Japan. All the whistle-stop tours of Japan get you to the big three cities: Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima, but right nearby are so many other attractions just waiting to grab you, sometimes quite literally.
The 1,000 plus deer of Nara Park in the city of Nara, one of Japan's ancient capitals, are friendly to a point. If you've got something worth eating--or sometimes just something that looks potentially tasty, like a tourist map--that's when they grab you. Gently, of course, because they're sacred deer who are taken care of by a host of volunteer members of the Nara Park deer society.
Special cookies are on sale around the park--but, unfortunately, the lack of English signs sometimes means the odd tourist makes the mistake of snacking on these tasteless morsels themselves. Beware of this, and making too many bad "oh dear" jokes to your travelmates, and your visit to Nara Park will be a pleasure.
[Image via sunbound/Flickr]
Japan: Hands Off the Melons [Jaunted]
Nara Number One [The Age]