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  • nara's photo
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NARA

When thinking of the appeal of Nara, the first thing that comes to mind is “Eternity”. Nara is so heavily entrenched in history that one can feel the distant reaches of time stretching on into forever. The capital and ancient Nara were first built in the year 710. Visiting the various temples will surely convince you that you’re seeing the oldest examples in Japan.

There are a number of towns in Japan called koto, or the former capital, including Kyoto and Kamakura. How is Nara different from these? The answer is its tranquility. The deer eating grass in Nara Park. The amazingly large temple grounds. The lack of large crowds and the ability to look up at a wide blue sky from anywhere in Nara. Before you know it, you’ll be strolling at a leisurely pace.

To fully enjoy Nara, be sure to make a schedule before visiting. Rushing through will make it difficult to appreciate the charms of Nara. Take your time when gazing at the face of the Great Buddha, give some sembei crackers to the deer, and abandon yourself to Nara. A leisurely pace is truly the best way to enjoy this location.

    • Spring 10℃ to 25℃
      Mt. Yoshino cherry blossoms, Heijokyo Tempyo Festival, Yoshino Kudzu, wisteria of Kasuga Grand Shrine
    • Summer 27℃ to 34℃
      Yagyu iris, Nara ceremonial bonfire, Great Buddha cleaning ceremony, Kakinoha-zushi
    • Autumn 10℃ to 25℃
      Foliage at Danzan-jinja Shrine, deer antler cutting ceremony, Kemari Festival
    • Winter 3℃ to 10℃
      Burning of Mt. Wakakusa, Onda Festival, Nyumen, Kasugataisha Shrine thousand lanterns
    • Nara Park
      This is a central spot featuring the major shrines and temples such as Todai-ji Temple, Kofuku-ji Temple, and Kasugataisha Shrine. To see every spot in this location, you need two or three days. In the city area of Nara you’ll find the latest spots such as cafes and restaurants.
    • Ikaruga
      This is a Buddhist city built by the great Prince Shotoku, focused around Horyu-ji Temple. It is home to a number of temples and Buddhist statues designated as national treasures. It is an easy day trip from Nara Park.
    • Yoshino
      This is one of the best known cherry blossom area in Japan. In the spring, the entire mountain is covered in vivid pink. The foliage of the cherry blossom trees in autumn is a magnificent sight. It has been a famous location for Buddhist mountain asceticism since ancient times, and the entire mountain is registered as a World Heritage site.
    • Western Capital - Heijokyo Ruins
      This area is focused around the Heijokyo (ancient Nara) Ruins on the western edge of Nara Park. When seeing just how big the area is you can easily see the prosperity of Nara. Some structures have been rebuilt to reproduce the ancient capital.
    • Asuka
      This is the location of the capital during the Asuka period, an age 1,400 years in the past. This area is rich in nature, surrounded by mountains, with many famous historical temples.
    • Car
      A car is not necessary for visiting the area around Nara Park and sightseeing all the way to Ikaruga. Moving by bus or train is a better way to shorten travel times. If you want to visit Yoshino or Asuka and enjoy the scenery along the way, a car is a good choice. Just remember that Nara has many mountains when compared to Osaka or Tokyo, so caution is required when driving.
    • Bus
      Buses are convenient for sightseeing in Nara. There is also a variety of one-day passes so you can choose the one that best fits your sightseeing plans. A generous number of buses during the day makes moving around easy, and lets you shorten travel times if you plan carefully.
    • Train
      There are two major types of trains in Nara. These are the JR and Kintetsu. Both JR and Kintetsu are connected to Osaka and Kyoto, however, because Kintetsu has a large number of trains, including special express trains within Nara prefecture, is usually the more convenient choice. Please note that only JR lines run in Ikaruga. Be sure to check a map when looking for stations, as some such as Kintetsunara Station and JR Nara station have similar names, but can be a slight distance apart.
    • Airplane
      There is no airport within Nara prefecture. The closest is Kansai International Airport from which shuttle buses, train connections, etc. can be used to reach Nara within two hours.
    • Kansai International Airport is a 1 hour, 45 minute flight from New Chitose Airport.
    • Kansai International Airport is a 1 hour flight from Haneda Airport.
    • Kansai International Airport is a 1 hour, 20 minute flight from Narita Airport.
    • Kansai International Airport is a 1 hour, 15 minute flight from Fukuoka Airport.
    • Kansai International Airport is a 2 hour, 20 minute flight from Naha Airport.
    • Take the shuttle bus from Kansai International Airport to Kintetsunara Station (approx.1 hr. 25 min). Or take the Nankai Electric Railway from Kansai International Airport via Kintetsu Namba Station to Kintetsunara Station (1 hr. 30 min.).
  • Todai-ji Temple
    Todai-ji Temple

    Nara City

  • Nara Park
    Nara Park

    Nara City

  • Naramachi
    Naramachi

    Nara City

  • Nara Hotel
    Nara Hotel

    Nara City

  • Guest Houses
    Guest Houses

    Central Nara City

  • Tanzan Shrine
    Tanzan Shrine

    Sakurai City

  • Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten
    Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten

    Nara City

  • Nara Local Cuisine
    Nara Local Cuisine

    All of Nara Prefecture

  • Tenkawamura
    Tenkawamura

    Yoshino County - Tenkawamura

  • Buddhist art of Horyu-ji Temple
    Buddhist art of Horyu-ji Temple

    Ikoma County