I Felt Like Snow White With Her Animal Friends in This Small Japanese Town!

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I Felt Like Snow White With Her Animal Friends in This Small Japanese Town!

EmilyI Felt Like Snow White With Her Animal Friends in This Small Japanese Town!Million Mile Secrets Team

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Emily:   For me, the best part of traveling is seeing new places and experiencing things I’d never get to see back home.  Kyoto is a fantastic place to explore old temples, see natural beauty, and meet friendly people.  And you can ride all around the city (safely!) on a bike!  These experiences made Kyoto a very unique place to visit and a place I would love to return to!

The Tame Deer Make Nara an Unforgettable Trip

Miles and points earned from just a few credit cards can help get you to Japan — or anywhere else you might want to go — for a fraction of the price!  My partner, Alfy, and I flew from the US to Japan round trip for ~$110 in Business Class.  He was raised in Japan and had not seen his family for ~20 years.  And for 3 weeks of lodging (including some fancy five-star hotels), I spent ~$450!  In this series, I will show you how you can do it, too!

If you haven’t already done so, check out our free Beginner’s Guide to Miles and Points!  Also, check out my Visiting Japan 101 series, as well as my How to Stay in Tokyo for Free series.

How to Use Miles for a Trip to Kyoto Index:

Day Trip to Nara

It takes a little over an hour to reach Nara from Kyoto via the train.  Nara is known for its deer, called sika deer, that freely roam Nara Park.  The park itself is one of the oldest in Japan, and dates back to the 1300s!  To me, it’s a “must do” day trip from either Kyoto or Osaka.

We rented bikes while in Nara so that we could see more while we were there.

As Soon As We Got Off the Train, We Found a Bike Rental Stand

We rode all around the park, but our first stop was to see the deer!  You can pay for a little bit of food so that you can easily feed them.

The Deer Get Hangry, So Watch Out

Some deer can get very aggressive though, so be careful if you decide to feed the deer.  And be especially careful if you are around them with small children.

I Felt Like Snow White With My New Animal Friends!

The female deer were much more friendly than the males.

I’ve Never Fed Deer Before

After we greeted the deer, we continued our bike ride around the rest of the park.

The Bikes Were New and Had Baskets

We saw some old temples…

The Temples Were Amazing!

…and a beautiful lake.

Nara, With Its Huge Park, Is Very Pretty

This was my favorite bike ride in all of Japan!

Paved Streets Make It Easy to Bike Around Town

Before we left, we said goodbye to the deer.

The Female Deer Were More Friendly (and Hungry!)

Where to Eat

Mellow Cafe

We decided to grab a bite to eat before heading back to Kyoto, so we chose Mellow Café.

Mellowing Out At Mellow Cafe

The pizzas averaged ~$10, and were a bit small.  So I recommend ordering 2 pizzas for 2 people.

You Can Even Find Amazing Pizzas in a Small Japanese Town

The pizzas were the best I had in all of Japan.  Yum!!

Nothing Like a Pizza to Warm Your Heart and Soul

They also had a small shop filled with stuff from local artists.  It was a great place to shop for gifts for friends and family back home!

Alfy Convinced Me to “Go Local” and Get a New Purse

Matcha Café Mannendo

After dinner, we decided to get dessert at Matcha Café Mannendo.  I can’t resist Japanese shaved ice, so here we were!

More Shaved Ice? You Betcha!

There were 4 different flavors on the menu.

4 Flavors?  I’ll Take 1 of Each!

I ordered the green tea shaved ice, and it was divine!  The shaved ice cost ~$8.  This is a little bit expensive, but you can share one dessert between two people.  Or if you are greedy like me, you’ll want it all to yourself!

The Combination of Flavors is Perfection

Bottom Line

Nara is a perfect day trip from Kyoto or Osaka.  I loved riding bikes around Nara Park, visiting the deer, eating delicious pizza, and of course, enjoying some Japanese shaved ice!

What are your can’t miss things to do in Nara?

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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