We spent an amazing 36 days in Japan! We did a lot of traveling, and we went back and forth between a lot of locations, cities, and districts. To make things easier to read and write, we have grouped everything in our travels into city locations and not exactly by time. The Japan list of contents so far can be found here!
We heard of Nara from its famous deer Park, but learned that it was actually a very powerful prefecture at one time. Nara was originally called Heijo, and was Japan's first permanent capital, from 710 to 794. There is a lot to see in Nara, but as we only had planned a day trip and had not rented bicycles during our time there, we only had time to walk through and around Nara park.
"According to local folklore, deer from this area were considered sacred due to a visit from Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto, one of the four gods of Kasuga Shrine. He was said to have been invited from Kashima, Ibaraki, and appeared on Mt. Mikasa riding a white deer. From that point, the deer were considered divine and sacred by both Kasuga Shrine and Kōfuku-ji. Killing one of these sacred deer was a capital offense punishable by death up until 1637, the last recorded date of a breach of that law.
After World War II, the deer were officially stripped of their sacred/divine status, and were instead designated as national treasures and are protected as such. Today, visitors can purchase "deer-crackers" (鹿煎餅 Shika-senbei) to feed the deer in the park. These crackers are exclusively sold by the WNOW company." - Wikipedia