Hi, everyone! We earnestly hope that this rainy season ends as soon as possible.
This time, we will be introducing Nara prefecture, located in the Kinki area. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of this prefecture? Perhaps it is the area’s most famous animal inhabitants, the sacred deer of Nara Park. Did you know that all the deer freely roaming in the Nara Park are technically wild? They stay around the park because the visitors give them easy access to food. But besides the deer, Nara Prefecture is also famous for its historic temples and shrines, such as Todaiji Temple (the largest wooden building in the world), Kasuga Shrine, and Horyuji Temple.
Most guidebooks tourists use to travel around Nara will have you stick to these kinds of attractions. But if you would like to know a place in depth, it is also important to know about the people who live there. So, what can be said about the people of Nara?“Easygoing” – this might be the first word that comes to mind. Nara has had a very peaceful history, mostly free from natural disasters and war, which has made its people equally calm. In addition to this, the myriad historical monuments that dot the landscape have always pulled in many pilgrims and tourists who spend a great deal of money during their visits, so Nara’s residents rarely have to worry about their prefectural economy. This phenomenon even produced an idiom, “Daibutsu-Shoho” (Great Buddha Commerce), which many local merchants used to talk about Nara’s inherent blessings. Furthermore, the fruits of fertile soil have kept prosperity high in times when tourism has slowed, so it is easy to see why the “easygoing” people of Nara are able to stay worry-free.
But these feelings are not reserved only for those who live in Nara. The prefecture’s catchphrase is “Nara makes you smile.” After a long day visiting the beautiful cultural sites, playing with the wild deer, and talking to the kind locals, you might find it difficult not to!