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Day trip to Nara vs Temple hopping in Kyoto 2018/11/4 17:53
I will be spending almost 3 days hopping temples across Kyoto including Arashiyama. I have an extra day where i can plan a day trip and i am wondering if i should go to Nara.

Looking at things to explore in Nara, it seems that it's mainly temples. So i am wondering if its worth going to Nara.

Any thoughts on this.
by Lokesh  

Re: Day trip to Nara vs Temple hopping in Kyoto 2018/11/5 11:37
Yes, Nara is a must.
Nara's temples/shrines have something Kyoto does not: Wild but tame deer.
by miyako (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Day trip to Nara vs Temple hopping in Kyoto 2018/11/5 16:06
I would say that it depends on your interests and the rest of your itinerary. If you find 3 days of temples already long, maybe you could do a daytrip to Himeiji instead to see the castle (or Hikone castle). Or a day trip to Arima onsen for a good soak

And donft get me wrong I could spend probably an entire week in Nara, but I am not you. And to PP there are many more unique points in Nara additional to the admittedly cute deer.

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Day trip to Nara vs Temple hopping in Kyoto 2018/11/5 17:54
Hi. We are in nara at the moment. It is our fourth stay here, all up we would have stayed a few weeks over the years. It is a really lovely town which is why we keep coming back. Lots to see in a smallish area and the deer are great. Another good day trip is hikone (not hakone). It has a nice castle with great views and a fun town within a half hour of Kyoto.

Himeji castle is more impressive, but the lines are longer...
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Day trip to Nara vs Temple hopping in Kyoto 2018/11/5 22:35
I really like Nara too (I do not like the deer. If you don't feed them fast enough they will bite!) But it's OK to not want to see more temples and shrines and to need a break. I personally like Uji even more than Nara, but again, that's more temples. I think it's great to be honest with yourself and your interests. I like Hikone and Himeji, both have beautiful gardens attached to them. (I'm a garden person.) Maybe you want to spend a day shopping, or just spread your temple hopping in Kyoto out over 4 days so you have more breaks in between.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Day trip to Nara vs Temple hopping in Kyoto 2018/11/6 06:50
I can give an opposing view.

I've spent about 10 days in total at Kyoto in my travels on two previous Japan trips. I have never visited Nara. On paper it kinda interests me, but since (in my view) it is just more temples. I've felt it is not worth the travel time to visit. And I could be incorrect. As I have heard from many it is a must see. But I haven't been given any real reasons as to why. Clearly I am in the minority.

And I don't wanna take away from people that love the area. I love Kyushu for varying reasons, and you'll get others that say Kyushu isn't worth a look as there isn't much to see. So everyone has differing opinions about various sights.

I visited most of the temple on the west side of Biwako (Lake Biwa) while others don't even know temples there exist.

So you add to what the others have said. It is really up to you to decide what interests you. The Biwako/Shiga/Hikone area doesn't get much love from international travelers, but it does offer a change of pace to temple, temples and more temples.

Whatever your decide, you'll enjoy either way.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Day trip to Nara vs Temple hopping in Kyoto 2018/11/6 11:54
If you get tired of the main Kyoto Temples, you can combine a few with a nice walk downstream along a river by taking an early 1-hour bus ride to Takao. It's an easy 11 km hike down to the Hozukyo JR Station. It's just a bit long w/o any large climbs or descents.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3940.html

You can spend as much or as little time as you want at the 3 Takao Temples, then hike down the Kiyotaki River to the Hozugawa. The best temple is Jingoji, where you can throw Y100 clay frisbees into the valley. After that, you'll be away from vending machines for a while, so an obento and drinks carried with you don't hurt. Besides the river, a side trail can take you off to a waterfall.

A good description is given here:
https://www.insidekyoto.com/takao-hozukyo-hike-via-kiyotaki-kuya-no-ta...

If you want to work the bus schedules, north of Takao is a nice village with lots of thatched roofs houses at Miyama. This would give a different view of the Kyoto area.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3985.html

If you're a speed hiker, and I met one guy who was flying, you'd have time to make your way up to the Hozugawa River boat rides at Kameoka and float back to Arashiyama. I'm not that fast so it wasn't an option. You could also take the Sagano Scenic railway back into Kyoto by crossing the long bridge once you reach the Hozugawa. The JR Hozukyo Station is a longer walk along the road but will get you all the way back to Kyoto Station.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3966.html

I also like to hike around the top of Mt. Hiei; there are temples, but the views and rides up and down on cable cars and ropeways add to its attraction.

I now rarely spend any time in mainstream Kyoto, even in January. There are just too many tourists. Nara would be the same. I would say a look at the Todaiji and Daibutsu are worth a look if you decide to go. The Nara museum also has some interesting special exhibits, although the main section is devoted to the temples and their art.
by Anaguma (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Day trip to Nara vs Temple hopping in Kyoto 2018/11/9 07:22
If I had to recommend one single temple in all of Japan that would be Tōdai-ji (breathtaking even if you're not really into temples), this alone makes Nara one of the absolute musts of Japan, but it also has the charming little city, the beautiful park, the cute (and pesky) deers... simply wonderful.
by Second-timer (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Day trip to Nara vs Temple hopping in Kyoto 2018/11/9 08:27
Too many temples makes for a dull trip.
If you want to experience an important part of Japan history and culture, and are armed with the information of the Nara period, their temples and shrines are not just "another" temple or shrine.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

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