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An Unexpected Kyoto Christmas Visitor.

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

Kyoto is famous for its greenery and nature, but it isn't too often that we actually get to see some of the animals that inhabit that nature. Last night though HIDDEN PATHS had two unexpected visitors, and it was quite appropriate that they arrived on Christmas Day, deer! (Maybe Santa had lost a couple!!)

Thinking of deer and Japan, especially Kansai, we think of Nara, where you can actually get right up to the animals and feed them (be careful though as there has been a rise in the number of bites of late).

This isn't the first time that we've seen deer in Kyoto, last year we bumped into one whilst hiking over the Uji hills. And afew years ago we saw one down by the Kamo River (pictured below), and also on the trek up Daimonjiyama.

And the location where the deer arrived last night is one where we have also been visited by a tanuki family in the past (two pups pictured below).

The first we knew that there were deer in the area was that one had been seen in November not too far away, this was near a main road in a residential area. The area has dotted wooded areas which are old protected Fujiwara grave sites, and then there are the hills and mountains (where we know deer live) but its unexpected for a deer to leave the mountain and set hoof in a populated place.

And then last night we heard loud sounds of breaking branches outside the back of the house, by the Fujiwara Grave site (one of the largest ones so more like a wood).

Taking a look out we saw two biggish deer (in the same place as where the tanuki pups are in the above pic). Obviously they then ran off under cover of the tree line. They didn't run far though and carried on with their tree branch breaking out of of site, as can be heard in the below video.

(Sorry, nothing to see in the video as it was dark!)

The deer stayed in the location quite a long time. Checking this morning we found plenty of evidence for the deer!

We'll have to wait and see if they return. The rutting season should be over now so its possible that these two are wandering bucks that have left the herd.

Always remember with any animal in the wild it is not a good idea to approach them as they may well be frightened or aggressive.

The video below left was taken this morning, the day after the deer visit, but shows where the animals were.

Let's hope we see them again, and maybe get an image next time!

HIDDEN PATHS - Walking Historical Kyoto.

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