Less than one hour from Kyoto, lots to see, kids love the deer, Buddah, statues, gallery, crafts, snacks... Nara has it all!
Very hot to walk in July and August.
A place well worth visiting.
Todaiji Temple (東大寺), or the Great Eastern Temple is the most famous temple of Nara, and also one of most important in all of Japan. The temple was constructed in 752, but the building has been rebuilt, and the present structure dates back to 1692. This massive building was the largest wooden building in the world until the...more
Nara Park and Miyajima are probably Japan's most famous places to see, pet, and feed deer! The park itself is rather ordinary and unspectacular (not counting all of the historical sites within and around it!), yet because of all the deer, many visitors consider it a "must-see" place in Japan and indeed it's worth a walk around. Most people visit...more
Kasuga Taisha is an important Shinto shrine in Nara, dedicated to the deity responsible for the protection of the city of Nara. It is located at the western foot of Mikasa-yama and Kasuga-yama, which are regarded as the sacred hills to where a deity descended. Kasuga Taisha enshrines the Fujiwara clan deity. This shrine is famous for its many...more
Kondo, The Main-Hall of Horyuji Temple is one of the places where photography was totally forbidden inside, but at least we were allowed to take a look inside. Outside of the building you will see some interesting details like in my 4th photograph, where some grim animals obviously are in charge to guard the building against bad ghosts and similar...more
Kōfuku-ji Temple is one of the eight key locations in the Nara UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was the first temple established in Nara when the capital was moved here. The temple contains several national treasures including five structures built from the 1100s to the mid 1400s. The Five Story Pagoda, originally constructed in 730 AD and...more
A pleasant escape from the crowds at Todai-ji is Nigatsu-do (one of todai-ji's sub temples). Entry is free and there are good views over the city towards the larger temple. On March the 13th there is a large ceremony here, where priests shower sparks on to the crowds below. Think twice about attending the ceremony - it gets PACKED, and forget...more
Yakushiji Temple was built to worship Yakushi Nyorai, god of medicine back in the 7th century however, as a result of fires, the temple you see today was rebuilt in the 1970s with the exception of the east pagoda, which remains from the original dating back to 730. The temple is organized symmetrically, which is not common for Japanese temples,...more
In the far northeastern area of the city near the border with Kyoto Prefecture Nara's Yagyu area is home to a large iris garden. There are paths throughout the garden so it's good for a stroll when the flowers are in bloom. The garden is open from May to early July. Mid-June is typically when the irises here are at their best. I came a bit late in...more
Kōfuku-ji Temple is one of the eight key locations in the Nara UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was the first temple established in Nara when the capital was moved here. The temple contains several national treasures including five structures built from the 1100s to the mid 1400s.The Five Story Pagoda, originally constructed in 730 AD and...more
After a disappointing stay at the Super Hotel in Kyoto, I thought that this branch would be similar...more
This is a grand old hotel and it's showing its age. The room was very large and furnished with good...more
This hotel is located in on foot-from Kintetsu "Nara" station 1 minute, and on foot 10 minutes from...more
Warabe Soba is a small restaurant in Nara's Yume Kaze Plaza, on the main road just around the corner from Todaiji Temple. This shop draws lots of tourists due to its great location, an its prices reflect that. The menu is in English and Japanese, and they offer a variety of soba (buckwheat noodle dishes) including cold soba, soba soups with tempura...more
Naramachi Ashibi no Sato Restaurant is a nice noodle shop in the historic Naramachi area of Nara. This restaurant, located in one of the old wood and stucco buildings from the 19th Century, is clean, simple and modern inside, with a food shop in the front, and just a handful of tables in the back. We took a seat near the back door at one of the...more
The Tea Lounge in Nara Hotel is a great place to enjoy cakes in the way you might be used to it from your western homecountry and the windows of the Tea Lounge are facing the own japanes gardens of Nara Hotel. The Tea Lounge of Nara Hotelis open daily between 08.30am and 06.00pm They have a great choice of cakes and pastries, see also my last...more
Nara is served by both the JR trains and the Kintetsu company's trains. We chose the Kintetsu Line for our travels from Osaka to Nara and from Nara to Kyoto, primarily because the Kintetsu Station in Nara is much closer to the tourist sites than the JR Nara Station, saving us a good amount of walking. The Kintetsu Nara Station is small, but clean,...more
The city limits of Nara extend well-beyond the Nara Park area. The famous Enjoji Temple and the Yagyu area are within Nara, but there are no train stations here, so you'll need to take a bus. There are 5 buses per day that go to Yagyu and all of them stop near Enjoji along the way. There are also 5 from Yagyu back to the stations. It is very easy...more
Although a fixed sightseeing bus is also good, if you want to take a walk Nara or want to inspect the world heritages of Nara in your original pace,I recommend 1 day free pass.There are mainly three kinds.:Nara city section Free ticket-500yen:Nara city and Nishino-kyo Free ticket-810yen:Nara city, Nishino-kyo and Ikaruga Free ticket-1600yenI bought...more
The Higashimuki Shopping Street is located just beside Kintetsu Nara Station. It is full of shops and restaurants. Many of the shops are souvenir shops where you can buy Nara goods. Other shops include clothing stores, discount stores, and knickknack shops. There are also many restaurants here, including Chinese, Vietnamese, and McDonalds among the...more
Confectionery gift shops are found near and around the major sights of Kyoto and Nara. Walk around, compare prices. You see that most shops sell almost the same thing. Say what you will about the sickening sweetness of most Japanese confectionery, their variety and packaging is out of this world.Your attention is often drawn to these brightly...more
There is something very special about Japanese gardens that I like very much. The trees are cut in a special and quite interesting way and you will see a lot of trees that are totally unknown in Europe or other parts of the world. Around the temples and also next to the Nara Hotel you will find some really interesting japanese gardens and trees.more
In Kasuga Shrine,and of course also in other similar shrines, you can write your wishes on small wooden plates and hang them on the wall at a special place of the shrine. You can buy these wooden plates in the shrine against a small donation, some have a text already written on them, at some you can make your own text and of course you can buy also...more
Though the great majority of Nara's 1200 sacred shika deer are very gentle, one must always remember that deer are wild animals and can act aggressively or unpredictably if it suits their interests -- and one never knows what a deer considers his/her interest to be. One thing for sure -- they have a god complex when they get hungry! Most of the...more
There are some wild deer in the Nara Park. They are pretty and sweet but so very hungry and they like to eat paper, cloth, your fingers etc. If you give them something, they'll never leave you alone. Try to keep all you papers out of sight, close your bag and simply try to ignore these and let someone else get in trouble with them.more
Deers wander around freely in Nara Park around the Todaiji and Kasuga Taisha. Vendors sell shika senbei (deer biscuit) for Y150 for you to feed the deer. Once you start feeding a deer, others will come and flock around you. If you are wearing delicate clothing, be careful because a deer may just bite at your clothing to attract your attention!!more
Yes, the deer of Nara are alot of things. You can find them under MUST-SEE, under LOCAL CUSTOM, and also under TOURIST TRAP.
They are aggressive, they are cute and they demand you fork out money to buy those deer biscuits from the many "senbei" vendors.
Unique Suggestions: Take pictures of other tourists forking out the money to feed these cute critters.
Take pictures of other tourists being pursued all over the park by these very demanding deer.
If you don't look like you are going over to a senbei vendor, or smell of senbei, the deer will leave you alone.
Dress appropriate to the seasons. It gets veeery cold in winter - woollen coat/duck-down jacket, hat, gloves, scarf. It gets veeery hot in summer - singlets/tee-shirts, shorts/skirts/cargos/jeans.It's medium (cardigan and light jersey/coat weather) in autumn (Sept, October, November) and spring (March/April/May). Nara Park is great for picnics....more
If you plan on doing a lot of train travel when you are in Japan then I suggest that you decline from bringing large, heavy suitcases. Most train stations in Japan have huge staircases (often no lift) so lugging a big suitcase is not an easy task. I suggest a good backpack would be a good choice. Rainy Season is around June/July and rain weather...more
76 Reviews and Opinions
In the three years that I lived in the countryside of Nara prefecture, I discovered two very beautiful and little-known temples (by little-known, I mean by tourists- although Japanese people are very familiar with both of them). One is Hasedera Temple and the other is Murou-Ji Temple. Both of them are roughly an hour from Nara and can be accessed...more
the nara koen (park) area is wonderful and around it there are lovely hills with hiking/biking rails. u can rent a mountain bike at nara JR station for a day or only for few hours and go and explore the beautiful nature :)) u will also get a good view of the city from up there :))more
Julia had a little incident in Nara that reminded me about one of Japan's most admirable qualities: the honor and honesty of its wonderful people. And all it took was the small act of a forthright deer snack vendor to bring credit to an entire nation....The excitable Julia was on her first-ever souvenir budget of Y1000 a day, a sum subject to...more
If you buy the deer crackers to feed the deer around Kasuga Taisha Shrine Jin'en Park then be aware that they will be with you forever. The deer are extremely tame and once you feed one you'll have a herd within seconds.That being said, it makes for a fun photo opportunity! So many wonderful sights to see, feeding the deer can be a bit of light...more