Photographer Documents Wild Deer Freely Roaming the City Streets of Nara, Japan

Sika Deer Nara Japan Beyond the Border by Yoko Ishii

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It’s not every day you see wild deer roaming about on concrete pavements… unless you live in Nara, Japan, where these not-so-shy creatures venture into the city. Kanagawa-based photographer Yoko Ishii captures the curious lives of these Sika deer in her ongoing series titled Beyond the Border.

The unrestricted deer population in Nara is sacred and protected by law, and Ishii’s photos show how at home they feel living in the ancient capital. They freely roam the city streets alone or in herds, check out the local stores, and even pass through turnstiles (no ticket necessary).

Ishii began the series in 2011 when she came across a pair of deer standing at an intersection. She noticed how, although they’re mingling within a man-made environment, these graceful deer don’t follow the same rules that their human cohabitants do. “These picturesque moments when early in the morning the deer can be found standing in the middle of desolate intersections, not bound by man’s borders and laws, yet inhabiting a man-made city is fascinating and inspiring,” the photographer admits.

You can see more from Ishii’s portfolio on her website. And if you love this series, check out her published photo book, Dear Deer.

Photographer Yoko Ishii captures the curious lives of Sika deer living in Nara Japan in her ongoing series, Beyond the Border.

Sika Deer Nara Japan Beyond the Border by Yoko IshiSika Deer Nara Japan Beyond the Border by Yoko Ishii

These not-so-shy creatures seem right at home roaming the streets of the ancient capital.

Sika Deer Nara Japan Beyond the Border by Yoko IshiiSika Deer Nara Japan Beyond the Border by Yoko IshiiSika Deer Nara Japan Beyond the Border by Yoko IshiiSika Deer Nara Japan Beyond the Border by Yoko IshiiSika Deer Nara Japan Beyond the Border by Yoko IshiiSika Deer Nara Japan Beyond the Border by Yoko IshiiSika Deer Nara Japan Beyond the Border by Yoko IshiiSika Deer Nara Japan Beyond the Border by Yoko Ishii

Yoko Ishii: Website | Facebook

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Yoko Ishii.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.

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