Deer herding to the beautiful sounds of a horn in Nara!

Herding deer started in 1892 with the establishment of a shelter for deer called Rokuen. The building was lost during the war, but rebuilt, and they hold events to interact with Nara’s wild deer.

Herding deer

Tobihino during the morning
The echoing sound of the horn is the trigger!
The dates for Deer Herding
You can book it in advance!

Tobihino during the morning

I went to the deer herding event in Tobihino. It was held from Thursday, 11th February to Sunday, 13th March. I arrived around 10 a.m. and found several deer and a large tree where the deer herding event is held.

A tree

After a while, many visitors and deer arrived. To begin with, the staff from the shelter talked about the deer in Nara, with language interpretation. Today, they herded deer to the sounds of a horn, which used to be trumpet. Herding is held several times during the day at the same place, so some deer anticipated what would happen next.

The echoing sound of the horn is the trigger!

After talking about the deer, the staff played Beethoven’s Pastoral. Two deer then started running towards us!

The deer

Only two? I wondered with a bit of disappointment. However, when I looked into the forest, I saw some shadows moving forward.

 The deer
They saw something in the forest
A herd of deer

It’s a herd of deer!

The deer from the forest

The deer from the forest
They were running up to us so fast!

Deer herding

The area was instantly full of deer! They were eating nuts as a snack.
It was very fun to see how quickly the deer gathered in one location, just by playing a horn!

Eating nuts
Eating nuts

The dates for Deer Herding

It is held several times during the year, and the next event will be in July and August.
Date:July: 17, 18, 23, 24, 30, and 31.  August: 6, 7, 11, 13, and 14.
Time:From 9:00A.M. in 15minute durations. It will be open during rain, but will be closed during typhoons.
Fee:Free (Reservation is needed)
※Please see the detail here(Japanese text only).

You can book it in advance!

If you want to see deer herding on any other unscheduled day, you can do so by booking a reservation. In this case, you’ll need to pay a fee.
There are some exceptions where they can’t offer you the service, so please inquire by telephone or email.
Inquiry:Foundation for the protection of deer in Nara
Hours:8:00〜11:00(During July and September 8:00~10:00)
Fee:20,000 yen
(closed on New Years, June, October, and during other events)
Cancellation:Cancellation the day of the event, 50% of the fee (10,000yen). No charge the day before.
Please phone by 5pm, or email 3pm at least 1 day before if you want to make a cancellation.


Kasuga Taisha 160 Kasugano-cho, Nara city, Nara〒630-8212

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Writer/ Translator

I love Japanese folkcraft article, traditional handicrafts and antiques. I’m seeking the Japanese people’s religious outlooks and its origins that are behind Japanese people’s unique sense and techniques rooted in the ordinary life.


Address Kasuga Taisha 160 Kasugano-cho, Nara city, Nara〒630-8212
Hours -
Price Free
Close -
Access ・Kintetsu Line Nara station Exit 2→Nara Kotsu city circular.
・7 min by bus bound for Kasuga Taisha, and get off there. 1 min walk from the bus stop.
Phone 0742-22-7788 (Kasuga Taisha)