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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai
Nara 
# 4   of 170 destinations
in our travel guide

jump to:   access  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

Todaiji Temple

Japan's first permanent capital was established in the year 710 at Heijo, the city now known as Nara. 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 (1351 votes)
Visited by: 2480 users
 2  Isuien Garden
Spacious Japanese garden near Todaiji.
User rating: 88/100 (110 votes)
Visited by: 240 users
 3  Nara Park
Central city park with wild deer.
User rating: 86/100 (1359 votes)
Visited by: 2572 users
 4  Kasuga Taisha
Nara's most celebrated Shinto shrine.
User rating: 85/100 (495 votes)
Visited by: 931 users
 5  National Museum
Excellent museum on Japanese Buddhist art.
User rating: 82/100 (100 votes)
Visited by: 248 users
 6  Shin-Yakushiji
With beautiful statues of Yakushi and guardians.
User rating: 82/100 (78 votes)
Visited by: 214 users
 7  Kofukuji Temple
Family temple of the Fujiwara Clan.
User rating: 81/100 (582 votes)
Visited by: 1121 users
 8  Yoshikien Garden
Consisting of three distinct Japanese gardens.
User rating: 84/100 (95 votes)
Visited by: 209 users
 9  Wakakusayama
Grass covered mountain behind Nara Park.
User rating: 81/100 (85 votes)
Visited by: 194 users
 10  Naramachi
Former merchant district with old houses.
User rating: 80/100 (286 votes)
Visited by: 616 users
  
West of Central Nara
 1  Horyuji Temple
The world's oldest wooden buildings.
User rating: 87/100 (514 votes)
Visited by: 1104 users
 2  Toshodaiji Temple
Large temple in western Nara.
User rating: 85/100 (303 votes)
Visited by: 661 users
 3  Yakushiji Temple
Large temple in western Nara.
User rating: 85/100 (249 votes)
Visited by: 604 users
 4  Heijo Palace
The former site of Nara's Imperial Palace.
User rating: 81/100 (200 votes)
Visited by: 502 users
  
Events
 1  Omizutori
Buddhist ceremonies involving water and fire.
User rating: 88/100 (47 votes)
Visited by: 120 users
 2  Wakakusa Yamayaki
An entire mountain is set on fire.
User rating: 87/100 (47 votes)
Visited by: 106 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 (108 votes)
Visited by: 249 users
 2  Iga Ueno
Former castle town famous for ninja.
User rating: 76/100 (192 votes)
Visited by: 446 users
 3  Asuka
The cradle of the Japanese civilization.
User rating: 80/100 (94 votes)
Visited by: 263 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.
Search Hotels
Sponsor Hotels
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 - with lowest rates by selected hotel reservation websites
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 1985 users):
91/100
  highly recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 160):
11.  Shirakawa-go   93/100
12.  Miyako Island   92/100
13.  Kamikochi   91/100
14.  Inujima Island   91/100
15.  Nikko   91/100
16.  Nara   91/100
17.  Kamakura   91/100
18.  Sanriku Coast   90/100
19.  Yamadera   90/100
20.  Shiretoko   89/100
Most visited destinations (out of 170):
1.  Tokyo   8416
2.  Kyoto   6483
3.  Osaka   5013
4.  Nara   4003
5.  Yokohama   3462
6.  Hiroshima   3168
7.  Kamakura   2963
8.  Nagoya   2506
9.  Kobe   2494
10.  Hakone   2321

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
Official web site.
Nara SGG Club
Volunteer group assisting international visitors to Nara.
Nara Guide Club
Offering free guided tours by volunteers for foreign tourists.

Japanese Links
Nara City
Official web site.

Online Reservations
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Related Pages
Travel
Sightseeing
Kansai Region
Nara Prefecture
Cities

Todaiji Temple
Kofukuji Temple
Kasuga Taisha
Nara National Museum
Nara Park
Naramachi
Shin-Yakushiji Temple
Mount Wakakusayama
Isuien Garden
Yoshikien Garden

Horyuji Temple
Yakushiji Temple
Toshodaiji Temple
Heijo Palace

Wakakusa Yamayaki
Omizutori
Cherry Blossom Spots

Asuka
Yoshino

History: Nara Period

Nara: Access and Orientation

News and Reports
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
Nara Autumn Color Report
November 23, 2009
More reports...

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