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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai
Nara 
# 4   of 178 destinations
in our travel guide

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Todaiji Temple

Japan's first permanent capital was established in the year 710 at Heijo, the city now known as Nara (奈良). As the influence and political ambitions of the city's powerful Buddhist monasteries grew to become a serious threat to the government, the capital was moved to Nagaoka in 784.

Nara is located less than one hour from Kyoto and Osaka. Due to its past as the first permanent capital, it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples.

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

Attractions
Central Nara
 1  Todaiji Temple
Large temple with a big Buddha statue.
User rating: 93/100 (1442 votes)
Visited by: 2680 users
 2  Isuien Garden
Spacious Japanese garden near Todaiji.
User rating: 88/100 (119 votes)
Visited by: 255 users
 3  Nara Park
Central city park with wild deer.
User rating: 86/100 (1464 votes)
Visited by: 2781 users
 4  Kasuga Taisha
Nara's most celebrated Shinto shrine.
User rating: 86/100 (533 votes)
Visited by: 1004 users
 5  Shin-Yakushiji
With beautiful statues of Yakushi and guardians.
User rating: 83/100 (84 votes)
Visited by: 231 users
 6  National Museum
Excellent museum on Japanese Buddhist art.
User rating: 82/100 (107 votes)
Visited by: 267 users
 7  Kofukuji Temple
Family temple of the Fujiwara Clan.
User rating: 80/100 (619 votes)
Visited by: 1200 users
 8  Yoshikien Garden
Consisting of three distinct Japanese gardens.
User rating: 84/100 (101 votes)
Visited by: 224 users
 9  Naramachi
Former merchant district with old houses.
User rating: 80/100 (301 votes)
Visited by: 645 users
 10  Wakakusayama
Grass covered mountain behind Nara Park.
User rating: 80/100 (100 votes)
Visited by: 224 users
  
West of Central Nara
 1  Horyuji Temple
The world's oldest wooden buildings.
User rating: 87/100 (545 votes)
Visited by: 1187 users
 2  Toshodaiji Temple
Large temple in western Nara.
User rating: 85/100 (321 votes)
Visited by: 707 users
 3  Yakushiji Temple
Large temple in western Nara.
User rating: 85/100 (261 votes)
Visited by: 636 users
 4  Heijo Palace
The former site of Nara's Imperial Palace.
User rating: 82/100 (210 votes)
Visited by: 541 users
  
Events
 1  Omizutori
Buddhist ceremonies involving water and fire.
User rating: 88/100 (51 votes)
Visited by: 125 users
 2  Wakakusa Yamayaki
An entire mountain is set on fire.
User rating: 86/100 (53 votes)
Visited by: 114 users
 
Special Interest Guides
  Nara Cherry Blossom Spots
  A list of popular cherry blossom spots in Nara.
Side Trips from Nara
 1  Yoshino
Japan's most famous cherry blossom spot.
User rating: 86/100 (115 votes)
Visited by: 269 users
 2  Iga Ueno
Former castle town famous for ninja.
User rating: 75/100 (198 votes)
Visited by: 472 users
 3  Asuka
The cradle of the Japanese civilization.
User rating: 79/100 (99 votes)
Visited by: 293 users

Access and Orientation
Access and Orientation
How to get to and around Nara.

About transportation in Japan

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Hotels and Ryokan
Nara is commonly visited on a day trip from Kyoto or Osaka, and only a few tourists overnight there. Indeed, the range of accommodation in Nara is rather limited, but there are a few options for those aiming to visit the city in more than a day trip. A location close to Nara Park is generally preferred.
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Sponsor Hotels
Hotel Nikko Nara
Extremely convenient. Next door to JR Nara Station, within 10-min bus ride to Kokufu-ji Temple /Nara Park. Diverse restaurant menu and free Wi-Fi available.
Asukaso
A fine ryokan with hot spring bath offering views of the famous five-story pagoda. Located in the heart of Nara town.
Recommended Hotels around Nara
Asukaso
Centrally located ryokan with outdoor baths that view onto the pagoda of Kofukuji Temple.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Hotel Fujita Nara
Regular business hotel located halfway between JR Nara Station and Nara Park.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Nara Hotel
One of the oldest Western style hotels in Japan, located next to Nara Park.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking

Tours and Packages
Nara Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Nara and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Nara:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of the best  
User Rating (by 2139 users):
91/100
  highly recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 165):
12.  Kamikochi   91/100
13.  Sanriku Coast   91/100
14.  Miyako Island   91/100
15.  Nikko   91/100
16.  Kamakura   91/100
17.  Nara   91/100
18.  Yamadera   91/100
19.  Inujima Island   90/100
20.  Shiretoko   90/100
21.  Dewa Sanzan   89/100
Most visited destinations (out of 178):
1.  Tokyo   9108
2.  Kyoto   7031
3.  Osaka   5465
4.  Nara   4353
5.  Yokohama   3725
6.  Hiroshima   3441
7.  Kamakura   3184
8.  Kobe   2720
9.  Nagoya   2708
10.  Hakone   2504

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

English Links
Nara City Sightseeing Information Center
Official website by the local tourism association.
Nara SGG Club
Volunteer group assisting international visitors to Nara.
Nara Guide Club
Offering free guided tours by volunteers for foreign tourists.
Nagomi Visit
Meet locals all over Japan in their own home to eat and cook.

Japanese Links
Nara City
Official website.

Online Reservations
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Related Pages

News and Reports
November 26, 2014
Nara Autumn Color Report
by joe
April 16, 2012
Yoshino Cherry Blossom Report
by schauwecker
December 1, 2011
Nara Autumn Color Report
by schauwecker
Nara Autumn Color Report
November 18, 2010
Nara Cherry Blossom Report
April 3, 2010
Yoshino Cherry Blossom Report
April 6, 2010
Nara Cherry Blossom Report
March 26, 2010
Wakakusa Yamayaki
January 23, 2010
More reports...

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