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The famous free-roaming deer (said to be nearly 1,500) of Nara Park in Nara, Japan are just about as big an attraction as the nearby Nara Daibutsu, the largest bronze Buddha statue in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While sometimes regarded as messengers of Shinto deities, the deer have become emblematic of the surrounding area and are a top tourist attraction for visitors who lure them with locally purchased shika senbei (deer crackers) to take cute selfies or gain affection.
However, as popular as Nara's deer and its cultural sites are, it often serves as a pit stop or day drip for travelers who actually are staying over in Osaka and Kyoto, which are gigantic tourist magnets. Nara, which is home to many long running family operated artisan shops, is believed to depend on tourism to financially thrive in the shadow of big city attractions like Osaka and Kyoto. In an effort to appeal more strongly to the masses, Nara and its deer are reaching out to tourists with a clever poster.
The immediate gag is a parody of the famous Abbey Road album cover by The Beatles, but some Japanese wordplay is key to the message of the poster. The Japanese written on the road beneath the crossing is read as "tomare" (usually written as 止まれ), which means "stop", however the kanji used is "泊まれ", which means "stay". In essence, the deer and Nara are asking travelers to not simply think of them as a pit stop, but to stay over at an accommodation and spend more time in the wonderful region.
Perhaps it's a bit unfair to use the adorable deer of Nara to implore tourists for a promotional campaign, but it is a reasonable request given how amazing a stay in Nara can be. Maybe the next time you're traveling around the western region of Japan, a stay and some exploration in Nara needs to be given some second thought!