Record number of people injured by deer in Nara this year -- Feb 07
Nara Park in Nara Prefecture is famous for its 1,000-plus-strong shika (native deer) population. These deer, considered to be messengers of the gods, are a national treasure and a protected species within the city’s limits, due to their sacred connection to Nara’s Kasuga Taisha Shrine.

Because of their protected status, the deer are allowed to roam freely through Nara Park, and sometimes out on the city streets, where tourists delight in feeding them with senbei rice crackers, which are sold at stalls in the area. However, despite their sweet appearance, the deer are still wild animals, and year after year, hundreds of people are injured by them.

According to prefectural officials, these injuries are rising steadily by the year, with 121 documented cases in 2016, and 186 in 2017. Now, with the fiscal year yet to end on 31 March, 209 injuries have already been recorded for the period of 1 April 2018 through to 31 January 2019.

Nara Prefecture says this is the highest level of reported injuries on record, and the number of serious injuries have increased as well, with eight people suffering fractures, including hip fractures, this fiscal year. Five of the eight affected were tourists visiting from abroad.

Previously, a total of ten people suffered fractures throughout the entire eight years since record-keeping began, making this year’s number particularly alarming. Nara Prefecture says this year’s serious injuries occurred during the mating season of September to November.

News source:
Aug 22
A Shinkansen bullet train made an emergency stop after one of its doors opened while speeding through northeastern Japan. (NHK)
Aug 22
The number of South Korean tourists visiting Japan fell last month to its lowest in nearly a year as visitors canceled travel plans amid deteriorating relations between the neighbors, Japanese government data showed on Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Aug 21
Korean Air says it will suspend more flights from South Korea to Japan, due to lower travel demand amid worsening bilateral ties between the two countries. (NHK)
Aug 21
People who traveled in Japan by rail, air and road decreased from a year earlier during the Bon summer holidays due to a heavy storm. (Japan Times)
Aug 19
Japan's government is promoting private lodgings for tourists who will visit during the Olympic and Paralympic games next summer. (NHK)
Aug 16
A powerful typhoon ripped through western Japan on Thursday, leaving one man dead and about 50 people injured, while greatly disrupting summer holiday traffic. (Kyodo)
Aug 15
Air carriers in Japan have canceled 549 domestic flights for Thursday due to a severe tropical storm approaching western Japan. (NHK)
Aug 14
Japan's Meteorological Agency is warning of torrential rains of more than 1,000 millimeters in some areas as severe tropical storm Krosa approaches the western part of the country. (NHK)
Aug 14
The Meteorological Agency is warning of heavy rain as severe tropical storm Krosa approaches western Japan. Agency officials say it could make landfall by Thursday. (NHK)
Aug 13
Severe tropical storm Krosa is moving northwest over waters south of Japan. It could make landfall somewhere in the country by Thursday. (NHK)