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Nara

Japan's ancient capital delivers on culture

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Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri

Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri

Traditional performing arts can be enjoyed at this annual festival held since the 12th century. Named after the Wakamiya shrine that resides in the larger Kasuga-Taisha shrine complex, this On-Matsuri was originally held to pray for a rich harvest an..

Areas

Ikoma

Ikoma

Ikoma is in the northwestern part of Nara Prefecture and is noted for Mt Ikoma,  the mountain range which divides Osaka from Nara Prefecture.  Mt Ikoma is part of the Kongo Ikoma  Quasi National Park and is a popular spot for viewing cherry blossoms during spring.  On top of Mt..

Gose

Gose

Gose city was formed in 1958, has an estimated population of 33,000 people. Some of the more notable locations in Gose include: Kamotsuwa Shrine Kamoyamaguchi Shrine Takakamo Shrine Katsuragi Hitokotonushi Shrine Mount Yamato-Katsuragi (959.2 m) Inorinotaki waterfall Bodaiji temple Fushimi..

Yamato Takada

Yamato Takada

Inhabited since ancient times, the city area nurtured paddy field agriculture in the fertile Nara Basin since  its pre-history. Large keyhole type burial "kofun" mounds were constructed in the northwestern part of the city around the 5th century. With the introduction of West..

Dining

Maguro Koya

Maguro Koya

Maguro Koya is a Tuna House that is small by name but big on flavour. It's a very short walk from Kintetsu-Nara station, and originally was not a place I was going to visit, however, due to JR issues with the trains that day, we were advised to t..

Cafe Wakakusa in Nara

Cafe Wakakusa in Nara

Just a 3-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station and close to the Higashimuki Shopping Arcade, Cafe Wakakusa is one of Nara's lovely little treasures. Run by Hiro and Sumie, a global-minded couple, Cafe Wakakusa welcomes travelers and locals ali..

Kurokawa Honke in Nara

Kurokawa Honke in Nara

Nara city was a former capital of Japan and is now currently the capital of the Nara Prefecture. The city is most famous for the sacred creatures that roam the city - the "shika," or deer. The sites of Todai-ji and Kasuga Taisha Shrine are ..

Places to stay

Sasayuri-ann - Rice Terrace Villa

Sasayuri-ann - Rice Terrace Villa

Branded as an ancient paradise beyond memory, Sasayuri-ann in Nara Prefecture is a unique lodging with rich history and fascinating cultural activities set in the birthplace of the Japanese ninja. This mountain villa is the perfect combination of Ja..

Hot Spring Hotel Nosegawa in Nara

Hot Spring Hotel Nosegawa in Nara

The narrow mountain road descended below the clouds at last and into a beech forest still clinging to the last sparse patches of fall foliage. The road plunged deep into a valley and then followed the course of a river upstream to a tiny island of ci..

Rice Terrace Villa Sasayuri-ann

Rice Terrace Villa Sasayuri-ann

Until recent years, the exquisite sasayuri lily flourished across the Japanese countryside. Due to environmental factors and development, this once common flower is now a rarity to behold. Similarly, the iconic thatched roof lodgings of Japan's p..

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Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Spring

Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Spring

Bold scarlet columns, roofs of Hinoki cypress, bronze lanterns green and gold. Mystical looking stone plinths, changing slowly from granite to green, as time covers them with richly hued moss. A deer with twinkling eyes, peeping quietly through the..

The Migawari-Zaru of Naramachi

The Migawari-Zaru of Naramachi

If you take a stroll through the nostalgic streets of old Nara (Naramachi), you will spot something curious. At almost every door hangs a garland of red fabric balls, five in a row. Are they tomatoes? Are they planets? In fact, they are monkeys! T..

The Calmness of Hōryū-ji, Nara

The Calmness of Hōryū-ji, Nara

Hōryū-ji (法隆寺) is a Buddhist Temple located in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture. It is very famous for its pagoda, widely acknowledged to be one of the world's oldest wooden buildings. Completed in the year of 603, it has been a UNESCO World He..

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About nara

Okinawa Nagasaki Fukuoka Saga Kumamoto Kagoshima Miyazaki Oita Ehime Kochi Tokushima Kagawa Yamaguchi Hiroshima Okayama Tottori Shimane Hyogo Kyoto Osaka Wakayama Nara Shiga Mie Fukui Ishikawa Toyama Gifu Aichi Nagano Shizuoka Niigata Yamanashi Kanagawa Tokyo Saitama Gunma Tochigi Chiba Ibaraki Fukushima Miyagi Yamagata Iwate Akita Aomori Hokkaido
RegionKansai
IslandHonshu
CapitalNara
Population1,400,728
Area3,690.94 sq. km

Japan’s first permanent capital from AD 710 to 794 (known then as Heijo), as well as the site of the ancient capitals of Asuka and Fujiwara, it goes without saying that Nara is filled with history and culture.

Nara is renowned for its many prestigious temples, led by Todai-ji (home of the Nara Great Buddha) and Horyu-ji, the oldest wooden building in the world. The lesser-known Asuka Temple is considered to be the oldest temple in Japan, constructed in AD 588. The traditional performing art of Daimokutate is performed every October 12th and is a sight to behold.

One of the most iconic sights of Nara is Nara Park; in addition to it containing Todai-ji, Kofuku-ji, and Kasuga Shrine, it is famous for its roaming deer - visitors can even feed them! The town of Yoshino is arguably the best spot in Japan for cherry blossom viewing.

Things to Do in Nara
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