NaraA cradle of traditional Japanese history and culture, Nara breathes the spirit of Yamato - the Japanese nation. Formerly known as “Heijyokyo", Nara was the first capital of Japan, from 710 -794 AD. This rich history is evident in the Heijyokyo Palace, which was built in the architectural style of Chang’an, in the Tang dynasty. While this period of prosperity has passed, Nara, the ‘Capital of Temples’ is still renowned for various cultural heritage sites including Todaiji, Toshodai Temple and Horiuji Monastery.
While the historic temples are impressive, many people come for the naughty Nara deer. Herds of wild deer can be found in Nara Park, Kasuga-taisha and, even, on the road. Don’t be deceived by their innocent and gentle eyes - they are after the deer senbei (rice snacks) in your hand!
The natural scenery in Nara is also worth seeing. Kasugayama Primeval Forest and Wakakusa Hill offer calming surroundings in which one can regain peace of mind. Located in the Kansai region, Nara is near to both Osaka and Kyoto and is a great option for a day-trip.
Places to visit in Nara
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This historically significant temple got its name from the fact that its first abbot, Ganjin, was from Toh, of the Tang Dynasty in China, and that it was founded as a place for Buddhist training under his guidance. This was the first temple in Japan to be dedi
Mount Wakakusa is located on the edge of Nara city and is famous for the annual Wakakusa Yamayaki festival.
Todaiji is most famous for its giant Great Buddha statue, which was decreed to be built by Emperor Shomu in 743. The origins of Todaiji are from a temple called Kinshoji which was founded in 728 as a resting place for the spirit of Crown Price Motoi, son of Em
Horyuji is home to some of the world’s oldest intact wooden structures, conveying the images of Japan as it was over 1,300 years ago during the Asuka era. The founding of Horyuji is recorded in historical engravings on the back of the halo of the Yakusi Nyorai
Nigatsudo, which literally means “the hall of the second month”, is a significant subcomplex of Todaiji Temple. Located to the east of the Great Buddha Hall, on the hillside of Mount Wakakusa. It is renowned for a repentance service dedicated to the image
The temple was established in Nara at the same time the city became the capital in 710. At the height of the Fujiwara clan's power the temple consisted of over 150 buildings. The current layout counts about 14 structures.
Isui-en Garden is a large traditional Japanese-style garden that dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1868).
Hotel Asyl Nara
Just a 5-minute walk from JR Nara Train Station and a 10-minute walk from Nara Park, Hotel Asyl Nara, which was awarded two red pavilions by the Michelin Guide 2013, offers free public baths, a Japanese restaurant and free in-room
Chiisana Hotel Nara Club
Chiisana Hotel Nara Club is a cosy little bed & breakfast, only a 5-minute walk from Nara Park. It offers rooms with a private bathroom, free Wi-Fi throughout and an internet corner. Free parking is available upon advance request.
Hotel Mimatsu is an 8-minute walk from the Kintetsu Nara Train Station, and a 13-minute walk from the JR Nara Train Station. Japanese-style rooms with a flat-screen TV are featured. A public bath is available until 23:00 for guest
A 15-minute walk from the Kintetsu Nishinokyo Train Station, Yamashiroya features Japanese-style rooms with a garden view and free Wi-Fi access. Japanese craft experiences are available at the inn, and bicycles can be rented to to
Guest House Oku
Guest House Oku has a total of 3 guest rooms and is a 15-minute walk from JR Nara station. It is also a 5-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station. Guest House Oku features free WiFi throughout the property.
Guesthouse Kohaku is located in the centre of the historical Naramachi area, full of traditional houses remaining since the 17th century.
The Deer Park Inn
Located within Nara Park, The Deer Park Inn offers free Wi-Fi throughout the property and a chance to feed the many deer roaming around the park. Kintesunara Train Station is an 8-minute taxi ride away.