Deer in Nara Park enjoying the cherry blossom season without large crowd of tourists


Since the COVID-19 outbreak took the world over in an unexpected storm, there has been an overflowing flood of news about animals returning to their habitat and wandering around in unlikely places as a result of being left without human surveillance.

Similarly, in the renowned Nara Park in Japan, Sika deers have been caught chilling under fully bloomed sakura (cherry blossoms) trees and it is a sight to behold.

The stunning images were captured by photographer Kazuki Ikeda who frequents the park as his favored shooting venue. Apparently, the deer are so used to tourists feeding them Shika Senbei crackers during visiting hours. It’s part of the tour experience provided by the park and the deer seem to have enjoyed it so much.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has forced the park to be closed for activities, leaving the otherwise reserved animals to walk around the park in search of some crackers to munch on.

Back when the picture was taken in April, Ikeda was in the midst of a photoshoot session. His clients were a lovely couple getting their wedding album ready when the deer decided that they should join in the fun.

They were simply basking in the spotlight of being photographed, you can even tell that they’re nature’s supermodels. Their grace and demureness makes them a much adored creature among tourists.

Since the photos went viral on Ikeda’s Instagram account, the deer seem to be getting a little more attention than his photography work. Ikeda doesn’t mind one bit though.

He keeps sharing images of photoshoot taken at Nara park to show people of its beauty. He also hopes that people will continue visiting the park after the pandemic blows over as the deer would definitely love some human interaction.


Japan began enforcing lockdown since the beginning of March, which saw gradual decrease of visitors to the park. Eventually, social distancing became a norm and the deer began doing something out of their norm.

They were seen wandering the streets of Japan looking for food. It was reported that they eventually returned to their habitat after their short rendezvous.