A big part of our recent trip to Japan was visiting different types of animals from city to city. We saw owls in Tokyo, monkeys in Arashiyama in Kyoto and deer in Nara. Each one was unique as well as interactive!
The deer in Nara are sacred. We took a train to see them about an hour south of Kyoto. Legend says the deer were considered scared due to a visit from one of the gods. I think they’re now considered ‘national treasures’ instead of having a divine status. Upon arrival we purchased deer-crackers you can feed them. But if you aren’t quick with the feeding they might nip you in the butt! It was a pretty special experience. We did encounter some people who weren’t thrilled with the deer’s sociability and seemed a little freaked out when that the deer started following them, but why go to a deer park if you don’t wanna see deer?
We visited an owl café in Tokyo. I was only brave enough to hold the smallest of owls, while Michael chose to hold the biggest one – Spring Onion. He wore gloves with his giant owl, which was a smart call due to Spring Onion’s slight pecks and large talons. The owls like quiet, so we had to whisper while we were in there. I kept standing up and moving away from them because they kind of freaked me out and were perched all around the room covering the walls, but the owl keepers told me to go sit down because sometimes they fly around and they didn’t want them bumping into my head!
The monkeys were definitely the most intense of the bunch in terms of getting close to a wild animal. We were told not to make eye contact with them and not to crouch down on their level while outside and in direct contact. One person waved his arms at one and the monkey jumped up pouncing toward him, but nothing happened luckily. The babies were very cute, but all of them were pretty aggressive about getting fed. You can go inside a room to feed them through a cage by holding apples in your hand. Outside you can get pretty close to them, but we wouldn’t dare touch one!