Sign in for a personalized experience.
Japan Guide Homepage
Travel
Living
Forum
Restaurants
Shopping
Jobs
Friends
News
-
Essentials
-
Sightseeing
-
Accommodation
-
Transportation
-
Restaurants
-
Shopping
-
Budget Travel
-
Questions

Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Nara
Kasuga Taisha (Kasuga Grand Shrine) 
# 5   of 16 most visited
sights in Nara

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

The main sanctuary of Kasuga Taisha

Kasuga Taisha is Nara's most celebrated shrine. It was established at the same time as the capital and is dedicated to the deity responsible for the protection of the city. Kasuga Taisha was also the tutelary shrine of the Fujiwara, Japan's most powerful family clan during most of the Nara and Heian Periods. Like the Ise Shrines, Kasuga Taisha had been periodically rebuilt every 20 years for many centuries. In the case of Kasuga Taisha, however, the custom was discontinued at the end of the Edo Period.

Beyond the shrine's offering hall, which can be visited free of charge, there is a paid inner area which provides a closer view of the shrine's inner buildings. Furthest in is the main sanctuary, containing multiple shrine buildings that display the distinctive Kasuga style of shrine architecture, characterized by a sloping roof extending over the front of the building.

Various types of lanterns at Kasuga Taisha

Kasuga Taisha is famous for its lanterns, which have been donated by worshipers. Hundreds of bronze lanterns can be found hanging from the buildings, while as many stone lanterns line its approaches. The lanterns are lit twice a year on the occasion of the Lantern Festivals in early February and mid August.

There are over a dozen auxiliary shrines in the woods around Kasuga Taisha, twelve of which are on the path past the main shrine complex and comprise a tour of the twelve lucky gods. These include Wakamiya Shrine, an important cultural property and known for its dance festival, as well as Meoto Daikokusha, which enshrines married deities and is said to be fortuitous to matchmaking and marriage.

Kasuga Taisha Shinen Manyo Botanical Garden

Located a short walk from the Kasuga Shrine main complex is the Kasuga Taisha Shinen Manyo Botanical Garden. This garden displays about 250 kinds of plants described in the Manyoshu, Japan's oldest collection of poems which dates to the Nara Period. A large part of the garden is dedicated to wisteria flowers which usually bloom from late April to early May.

The shrine grounds also contain a Treasure House near the main complex which displays the shrine's relics. These include two sets of large ornate drums. Additionally, the Kasuga Primeval Forest, a sacred old-growth forest belonging to the shrine, covers the mountain behind Kasuga Taisha, however, it is closed to the public.

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
Kasuga Taisha is located in the east of Nara Park. It is about a 30 minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station, or a 45 minute walk from JR Nara Station. Alternatively, it can be reached by bus from either station. Get off at the Kasuga Taisha Honden bus stop (190 yen, frequent departures).

How to get to and around Nara

Hours and Fees
Kasuga Taisha
Hours:6:00 to 18:00 (April to September)
6:30 to 17:30 (October to March)
Closed:No closing days
Admission:Free (outer area), 500 yen (inner area)

Botanical Garden
Hours:9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February)
Admission ends 30 minutes before closing
Closed:Mondays from December to February (or the following Tue if Mon is a national holiday)
Admission:500 yen

Treasure House
Hours:9:00 to 17:00 (Admission until 16:30)
Closed:Closed irregularly for exhibit changes
Admission:400 yen

Advertisement

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.
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.
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 Kasuga Taisha:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 518 users):
85/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 782):
170.  Senganen Garden (Kagoshima)   86/100
171.  Nozawa Hot Springs (Nozawa Onsen)   86/100
172.  Matsue Castle (Matsue)   86/100
173.  Benesse House (Naoshima)   85/100
174.  Mount Shosha (Himeji)   85/100
175.  Kasuga Taisha (Nara)   85/100
176.  Toshodaiji Temple (Nara)   85/100
177.  Dinosaur Museum (Fukui)   85/100
178.  Gas-san (Dewa Sanzan)   85/100
179.  Akihabara (Tokyo)   85/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 913):
72.  Canal City (Fukuoka)   1047
73.  Lake Kawaguchiko (Fuji Five Lakes)   1018
74.  Beaches (Kamakura)   1006
75.  Hakone Hot Springs (Hakone)   1002
76.  Toji Temple (Kyoto)   981
77.  Kasuga Taisha (Nara)   973
78.  Byodoin Temple (Uji)   949
79.  Clock Tower (Sapporo)   942
80.  JR Central Towers (Nagoya)   918
81.  Bay Area (Osaka)   908

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
Kasuga Taisha
Official English pdf.

Japanese Links
Kasuga Taisha
Official website.

Online Reservations
Hotel
 
Car
 
Flight
 
Bus

(check-in)

Related Pages

Most Recent Autumn Color Report
September 29
Alpine Route
more reports...

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...

Related Questions
Onsen near Nara (Todaji Temple & Nara...
 3 reactions, last updated 32 days ago
Kintetsu rail pass
 2 reactions, last updated 42 days ago
Nara for 1/2 day or full day? October
 6 reactions, last updated 61 days ago
Nara shopping
 1 reaction, last updated 81 days ago
Horyuji and Nara in one day?
 1 reaction, last updated 82 days ago
Tofukuji (Nara) questions
 7 reactions, last updated 106 days ago
Nara park trees
 9 reactions, last updated 118 days ago
Day trip to Nara on a weekday or weekend?...
 5 reactions, last updated 137 days ago
Kasugayama forest Nara
 3 reactions, last updated 163 days ago
Taxi from Nara to Itami airport
 3 reactions, last updated 168 days ago
Kansai thru pass to nara park
 2 reactions, last updated 169 days ago
Nara and Horyuji
 1 reaction, last updated 189 days ago
Transportation around Nara
 7 reactions, last updated 192 days ago
Where are large supermarkets in Nara
 3 reactions, last updated 234 days ago
Nara Access Ticket by Nankai
 2 reactions, last updated 259 days ago
What to do when all lockers are full?
 7 reactions, last updated 273 days ago
Horyuji
 1 reaction, last updated 282 days ago
How to get to Nara from Nagoya?
 5 reactions, last updated 300 days ago
Staying in Nara, want to see Osaka and...
 2 reactions, last updated 326 days ago
How stroller friendly is a trip to Nara
 4 reactions, last updated 330 days ago

Travel
Living
Japan A-Z
Community
Sightseeing
Accommodation
Transportation
Shopping
Essentials
Regions
Prefectures
Cities
Working
Studying
Living Cost
Apartments
Arts and Crafts
Entertainment
History
Religion
Etiquette
Food
Language
Tradition
Question Forum
Classifieds
Trip Reports
Member Area
Sightseeing Guide
Hokkaido
Sapporo
Otaru
Hakodate
Noboribetsu
Niseko
Furano
Daisetsuzan
Shiretoko
more...
Tohoku
Sendai
Matsushima
Hiraizumi
Hachimantai
Hirosaki
Lake Towada
Dewa Sanzan
Aizu
more...
Kanto
Tokyo
Yokohama
Kamakura
Hakone
Nikko
Kawagoe
Kusatsu
Narita
more...
Chubu
Nagoya
Mount Fuji
Izu Peninsula
Matsumoto
Kiso Valley
Takayama
Shirakawa-go
Kanazawa
more...
Kansai
Kyoto
Osaka
Nara
Kobe
Himeji
Mount Koya
Kumano
Ise Shima
more...
Chugoku
Hiroshima
Miyajima
Okayama
Kurashiki
Tottori
Matsue
Iwakuni
Hagi
more...
Shikoku
Takamatsu
Kotohira
Naoshima
Matsuyama
Kochi
Tokushima
Naruto
Iya Valley
more...
Kyushu
Fukuoka
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Mount Aso
Beppu
Kagoshima
Kirishima
Yakushima
more...
Okinawa
Honto
Kume
Miyako
Yaeyama
Copyright © 1996-2014 japan-guide.com All rights reserved - Last Page Update: July 24, 2013
home - site map - privacy policy - terms of use - contact - employment - Lɂ‚ - advertising