Don’t be fooled by its size (with only 365,000 inhabitants) - when it comes to tourism Nara plays in the big league.
Large numbers of tourists come every year to enjoy the charms of its large park which is home to deers that are classified as national treasures in Japan.
One of its main advantages is that it is possible to visit all the main points of interest in the park on foot from the station in one day. Only the Horyu-ji Temple is a little further away, a 12-minute train ride followed by a 20-minute walk to get there.
All the visitors love to say hello to the shika deers that roam freely in the park and often come for a little nosy (and in search of a snack!) even more so than in Miyajima. Here is a video we’ve made, which shows them in their natural environment:
Nara was the capital of Japan for 74 years during the era of the same name (in the eighth century).
How to get to Nara
From Kyoto -- By train:
- 44 minutes by JR Rapid train, platform no.8, direct to JR Nara station (¥710 / ~US$ 6.50)
- 34 minutes by Kintetsu train to Kintetsunara station (¥620 / ~US$ 5.70 + ¥510 / ~US$ 4.70 to reserve a seat)
From Osaka (Umeda) -- 50 minutes by JR Rapid Yamatoji train, platform no.1, direct to JR Nara Station (800 yen / ~US$ 7.30)
Several departures every hour.
Location reachable with the JRP : order your Japan Rail Pass (from ~US$ 281)
How long / when to visit
Very pleasant in all seasons, especially in spring
Accomodation in Nara
Weather in Nara
5 / 10°C
6 / 12°C
Stay connected with a Pocket Wifi in Japan
Nara City Sightseeing Information Center (in English)