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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai
Nara 
# 4   of 175 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 (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 (1380 votes)
Visited by: 2541 users
 2  Isuien Garden
Spacious Japanese garden near Todaiji.
User rating: 88/100 (114 votes)
Visited by: 245 users
 3  Nara Park
Central city park with wild deer.
User rating: 86/100 (1393 votes)
Visited by: 2633 users
 4  Kasuga Taisha
Nara's most celebrated Shinto shrine.
User rating: 85/100 (507 votes)
Visited by: 953 users
 5  National Museum
Excellent museum on Japanese Buddhist art.
User rating: 82/100 (101 votes)
Visited by: 254 users
 6  Shin-Yakushiji
With beautiful statues of Yakushi and guardians.
User rating: 82/100 (81 votes)
Visited by: 223 users
 7  Kofukuji Temple
Family temple of the Fujiwara Clan.
User rating: 81/100 (592 votes)
Visited by: 1145 users
 8  Yoshikien Garden
Consisting of three distinct Japanese gardens.
User rating: 84/100 (98 votes)
Visited by: 214 users
 9  Wakakusayama
Grass covered mountain behind Nara Park.
User rating: 80/100 (92 votes)
Visited by: 207 users
 10  Naramachi
Former merchant district with old houses.
User rating: 80/100 (291 votes)
Visited by: 626 users
  
West of Central Nara
 1  Horyuji Temple
The world's oldest wooden buildings.
User rating: 87/100 (527 votes)
Visited by: 1128 users
 2  Toshodaiji Temple
Large temple in western Nara.
User rating: 85/100 (314 votes)
Visited by: 681 users
 3  Yakushiji Temple
Large temple in western Nara.
User rating: 85/100 (253 votes)
Visited by: 611 users
 4  Heijo Palace
The former site of Nara's Imperial Palace.
User rating: 81/100 (205 votes)
Visited by: 513 users
  
Events
 1  Omizutori
Buddhist ceremonies involving water and fire.
User rating: 88/100 (48 votes)
Visited by: 121 users
 2  Wakakusa Yamayaki
An entire mountain is set on fire.
User rating: 86/100 (49 votes)
Visited by: 109 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 (111 votes)
Visited by: 259 users
 2  Iga Ueno
Former castle town famous for ninja.
User rating: 75/100 (194 votes)
Visited by: 458 users
 3  Asuka
The cradle of the Japanese civilization.
User rating: 80/100 (96 votes)
Visited by: 269 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
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 2033 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   90/100
Most visited destinations (out of 175):
1.  Tokyo   8666
2.  Kyoto   6671
3.  Osaka   5162
4.  Nara   4111
5.  Yokohama   3548
6.  Hiroshima   3250
7.  Kamakura   3027
8.  Kobe   2566
9.  Nagoya   2565
10.  Hakone   2375

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.

Japanese Links
Nara City
Official website.

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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