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One of the oldest public gardens in Japan, Nara Park is home to over 1,200 wild sika deer who roam freely around the 502 hectares (1,240 acres) grounds. The gentle creatures usually share the park with crowds of tourists, but since the COVID-19 lockdown, the deer have been enjoying the quiet time. Locals are still allowed to visit (as long as they uphold social distancing), so Japanese photographer Kazuki Ikeda recently went there for a pre-wedding photoshoot. And while the couple were the focus of the shots, he also had time to capture a group of deer on video, and it looks like something from a fairytale.
Visiting Nara Park is an unforgettable experience all year round, but it’s especially magical during cherry blossom season. Ikeda’s now-viral video shows the deer peacefully resting beneath the pink blossom trees and grazing on the petal-filled ground. The enchanting scene showcases the beauty of Nara Park and its animal inhabitants, and Ikeda hopes his video will encourage people to visit there once travel restrictions are lifted. “The pandemic is exhausting the hearts of people all over the world” he says, “I hope this video makes people around the world feel at ease.”
Watch Kazuki’s video below and follow him on Instagram for more of his stunning photography.