According to the legend, Takemikazuchi-no-Mikoto, the kami of the Kashima Shrine in Ibaraki, was once invited to come to Kasuga Taisha, in Nara. He arrived in Nara riding a white deer, and since then the deer are considered sacred beings, divine messengers of kami.
Protected by law, there are now about 1200 deer roaming freely through the city, strolling careless through the streets of Nara, and they’re a delight for tourists and a bit of nuisance for the local shop owners. However, even as a tourist, after a while you get used to their presence…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: