Yes, Nara is filled with must-see historical landmarks making it a priority for many travelers. Yet, looking beyond this aspect, the next main reason why loads of tourist come to Nara year after year are the adorable deer of Nara Park. Feed them, pet them, or fill your memory card with photos of them, or better yet, why not stay in a place where the deer will “greet” you in the morning when you get out of bed.
Inside Nara Park at the bottom of Mount Wakakusa, guesthouse owner Hamano-san decided to turn his love of nature into a beautiful cottage-like guesthouse surrounded by the natural surroundings of the park. These surroundings happen to include the deer, hence the name of the guesthouse. As you walk up to the entrance, there’s a high chance of having adeer pass you by with little hesitation, or even stick around long enough for a picture.
Once inside, you unfortunately won’t find deer, but you will be greeted by very hospitable staff and a mellow atmosphere. There are high ceilings all throughout the guesthouse, the concrete walls are adorned with rustic wooden accents, and the common areas filled with vintage furniture are perfect for hanging out with a book in hand. A large kitchen area with a communal table is available for guests to prepare their own meals, and this area is especially handy for early risers who need a cup of coffee and snack to kick off their day. Eating options in the area are limited, so it is wise to plan ahead and get some groceries for breakfast.
The common area is great, but the rooms are even better. Equipped with large windows overlooking Nara Park, they are bright, spacious, and a great spot for watching the deer chilling in front of the guesthouse. In terms of accommodation, The Deer Park Inn offer rooms for two, three, or four people, as well as female-only and mixed dormitories. All rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, with prices starting at 2,700 per person.
Another plus at the Deer Park Inn is the cafe at the top of the steps leading up to Mount Wakakusa. For those not making use of the kitchen, having the cafe adjacent to the guesthouse is very convenient. Here you can find a light food menu, coffee, organic teas and juices, and local craft beer. Keeping with the natural vibe of the sleeping area, the cafe is designed in a way so that guests can enjoy the refreshing atmosphere. From the terrace of the cafe you’ll get an unobstructed view of the mountain, and from time to time the wandering deer will come to visit. Bikes are also available for rent here so that you can ride into town. If you want the full park experience during your trip to Nara, the Deer Park Inn is one of the best options money can buy, while leaving you with some spare cash to spend around town.
Report - Stay at the Deer Park Inn - Nara
NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR