Nara
Explore Nara
Nara•••
Nara
Explore Nara

Japan's first permanent capital was established in the year 710 at Heijo, the city now known as Nara (奈良). Before that date, the capital used to be moved to a new location whenever a new emperor ascended to the throne.

However, 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 away from Nara to Nagaoka in 784 and a few years later to Kyoto.

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

Top attractions in Nara

Sort:
3
Festival

Omizutori••

Buddhist ceremonies involving water and fire.
4.0 / 5
170
6
Park

Nara Park

Central city park with wild deer.
4.1 / 5
3,609
10
Temple

Shin-Yakushiji

With beautiful statues of Yakushi and guardians.
3.9 / 5
276
13
Historic Site

Heijo Palace

The former site of Nara's Imperial Palace.
3.7 / 5
710
14
Garden

Yoshikien Garden

Consisting of three distinct Japanese gardens.
4.0 / 5
343
15
Historic Site

Naramachi

Former merchant district with old houses.
3.7 / 5
820
16
Viewpoint/Tower

Wakakusayama

Grass covered mountain behind Nara Park.
3.7 / 5
303
Side Trips from Nara
1

Yoshino

Japan's most famous cherry blossom spot.
4.1 / 5
345
2

Iga Ueno

Former castle town famous for ninja.
3.4 / 5
573

Access and Orientation

Hotels around Nara

Recommended Hotels
Asukaso
Centrally located ryokan with outdoor baths that view onto the pagoda of Kofukuji Temple.
Book:
Agoda Booking
Hotel Fujita Nara
Regular business hotel located halfway between JR Nara Station and Nara Park.
Book:
Agoda Booking
Nara Hotel
One of the oldest Western style hotels in Japan, located next to Nara Park.
Book:
Agoda Booking

Tours and Travel Services