Seeing wild animals in the middle of a city is a rare occurrence in most places, but not in the Japanese city of Nara. Here, there is an unrestricted deer population which is considered sacred and given free rein to roam the streets. As a result, the ancient capital has become a popular tourist destination for people who want to see animals occupying a manmade city completely unfettered. In fact, there is even a train that passes through the city that is inspired by the deer population.
The Narashika Train, or “Nara Deer Train,” does not look like any ordinary train. Each carriage features a green and grass-like floor, and tan-and-spotted seats modeled after the coat of the deer. Even the usual handgrips have been exchanged for special, deer-themed ones. And if that weren't enough, there are also banners featuring the friendly creatures hanging every few feet, and illustrations placed on the walls and windows. Altogether, these creative elements create a bucolic atmosphere reminiscent of the city of Nara itself.
Though this special train hasn't been in service for long—only since December 2022—it has already amassed an enthusiastic following. It runs on the Kintetsu Line between Kintetsu Nara and Kobe Sannomiya stations; however, since the trains run randomly, it is not always guaranteed you will be able to take a seat on the fuzzy deer seats. Still, if you're able to visit Nara, it's well worth a try. You never know. Perhaps, you will be able to take a ride on the cute, deer train.