Rashida Jones Reveals the Japanese Locals that ‘Got a Little Nippy’ with Her During Family Trip

Jones spoke about visiting Kyoto with her partner, Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig, and their 5-year-old son

<p>Taylor Hill/WireImage</p> Rashida Jones in 2023.

Taylor Hill/WireImage

Rashida Jones in 2023.

Rashida Jones is looking back at her family's trip to Japan — and the unexpectedly "nippy" encounter she had on one day trip.

While speaking with Condé Nast Traveler about her upcoming show Sunny, which was filmed in Kyoto, Jones talked about visiting Nara with her partner, Vampire Weekend vocalist Ezra Koenig, and their 5-year-old son, Isaiah.

According to the Parks and Rec alum, 48, her family-of-three made the drive down a long, winding road to the city, which is "about 40 minutes south [of Kyoto] and home to a Shinto house called Kasuga Taisha and a temple, Tōdai-ji," and even stopped to buy their son a toy from a "retro" vending machine.

Once there, they met a very particular kind of local that famously populates the area.

"Eventually we turned a corner and saw deer all over the hillside," she revealed. "The deer in Nara are part of the place. You walk down the street and there will just be two of them taking a nap in front of a store. You can buy food and feed them. Some even got a little nippy with us!"

"It was a very weird, magical scene," Jones added.

<p>Stefanie Keenan/WireImage</p> Rashida Jones and Ezra Koenig.

Stefanie Keenan/WireImage

Rashida Jones and Ezra Koenig.

Vendors in Nara Park sell special wafers that are intended to be fed to the resident deer. Travelers can bow to a deer and the deer will bow back, after which they get a treat. However some of the mostly tame creatures have been known to nip at the clothes of tourists and even chase them in order to get their snack more quickly.

The bowing deer can be found throughout the large complex, which is also home to temples, shrines and a botanical garden. Typically the deer near the entrance to the park are more aggressive than those found wandering deeper into the grounds.

Related: Rashida Jones Reflects on 'Practical' Advice Dad Quincy Jones Gave Her About Nepo Baby Advantages: Don't 'Wait in Line' for a Job

Jones also shared how her experience staying in Kyoto while filming Sunny felt different from anywhere she had lived before, and she and her family often embarked on a journey to explore more of the region and the culture.

"I started a list of things that I wanted to remember once I didn't live there anymore," she told the outlet. "So much of what I experienced had a deep impact on me because it felt vastly different from my regular life."

<p>Apple TV+</p> Rashida Jones in "Sunny," now streaming on Apple TV+.

Apple TV+

Rashida Jones in "Sunny," now streaming on Apple TV+.

"One of the most memorable things about living in Japan for me was the depth of spirituality, not just at the temples and shrines but even in the artistic spaces," she continued. "There's a respect for culture and the past that I long for. We just don't have that in Los Angeles—no disrespect to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. But just standing there, in this temple in Nara, I found myself slowing down. It was a place where I could be totally present."

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According to Apple TV+, Sunny follows Jones' character as an American living in Kyoto with her husband and son.

Her life is "turned upside down after her husband and son disappear in a mysterious plane crash. As consolation, she receives Sunny, a domestic robot made by her husband's electronics company," the synopsis states.

Related: Rashida Jones Clarifies She's Married to Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig Only 'in the Eyes of God'

Although Jones is often private about her relationship with Koenig and their home life with Isaiah, she recently revealed that the pair are "not actually" legally married, despite referring to one another as husband and wife publicly.

"We’re not married," she clarified on July 7. "We just kind of call each other that. But we are what we are, in the eyes of God!"

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Jones, whose parents are music producer Quincy Jones and the late model Peggy Lipton, added, "My parents only got married when my dad had his first brain aneurysm and my sister was six months old, because of rights stuff."

She added, “I’m sure we’ll get married at some point, but we basically are."

Sunny is streaming on Apple TV+.

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