Shika no Tsunokiri & Nara

I currently work in Nara but rarely get time to venture out the office and explore. One time I did spend my lunch break in the park reading my kindle a lady tried to give me a leaflet on god which then got promptly eaten by a deer.

In November there is a 3 day ceremony in Nara called Shika no Tsunokiri, cutting of the deer antlers! The deer in Nara are sacred and to protect them and the general public their antlers are sawn off. I’m told they don’t feel a thing… But instead of doing it behind closed doors, in typical Japan style they have a festival around it!

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The offending antlers!

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Queuing to get into the stadium.

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The deer!

Basically what happens is they let some deer in, let them run around and butt heads. Then they have to lasso one and catch it! Its then tied up, pinned down and carried to a bed (mat) and pillow and held in place whilst the priest saws it’s antlers off.

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Trying to catch one!

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Tying it up.

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Sawing them off.

All the while a man beats a drum, another commentates on a microphone and the crowd ooh and ahh and clap.

It was definitely worth seeing, but don’t think I’d go again next year!

As for Nara in general it’s a lovey place to visit anytime. You can stroll the park and feed the deer.

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You can buy deer cookies all over and it’s like crack for deer, they go mad for it! Though watch out they can get a bit nippy if they think you are withholding cookies!

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Don’t forget to visit some of the many temples and shrines in Nara, such as

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I took some quick Koyo (autumn colour) photos a couple of weeks ago too, the leaves were just starting to change.

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