NaraA cradle of traditional Japanese history and culture, Nara breathes the spirit of Yamato - the Japanese nation. Formerly known as “Heijyokyo", Nara was the first capital of Japan, from 710 -794 AD. This rich history is evident in the Heijyokyo Palace, which was built in the architectural style of Chang’an, in the Tang dynasty. While this period of prosperity has passed, Nara, the ‘Capital of Temples’ is still renowned for various cultural heritage sites including Todaiji, Toshodai Temple and Horiuji Monastery.
While the historic temples are impressive, many people come for the naughty Nara deer. Herds of wild deer can be found in Nara Park, Kasuga-taisha and, even, on the road. Don’t be deceived by their innocent and gentle eyes - they are after the deer senbei (rice snacks) in your hand!
The natural scenery in Nara is also worth seeing. Kasugayama Primeval Forest and Wakakusa Hill offer calming surroundings in which one can regain peace of mind. Located in the Kansai region, Nara is near to both Osaka and Kyoto and is a great option for a day-trip.
This historically significant temple got its name from the fact that its first abbot, Ganjin, was from Toh, of the Tang Dynasty in China, and that it was founded as a place for Buddhist training under his guidance. This was the first temple in Japan to be dedi
Mount Wakakusa is located on the edge of Nara city and is famous for the annual Wakakusa Yamayaki festival.
Todaiji is most famous for its giant Great Buddha statue, which was decreed to be built by Emperor Shomu in 743. The origins of Todaiji are from a temple called Kinshoji which was founded in 728 as a resting place for the spirit of Crown Price Motoi, son of Em
Nigatsudo, which literally means “the hall of the second month”, is a significant subcomplex of Todaiji Temple. Located to the east of the Great Buddha Hall, on the hillside of Mount Wakakusa. It is renowned for a repentance service dedicated to the image
Isui-en Garden is a large traditional Japanese-style garden that dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1868).
This café/restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Nara (very close to Kintetsu Nara Station) and is a casual lunch venue. Much of the menu is Italian, including pasta and pizza so it’s good for those who feel like a break from Japanese fare.
The view of a beautiful Japanese garden from inside the restaurant will certainly delight customers. Their menu offers a great variety of Japanese dishes - a wide selection of great value set menus, tempura, sashimi and other a la carte menus.
ML International Hostel
Located right in front of Shinomiya Train Station, ML International Hostel offers dormitory-style rooms with free Wi-Fi. Guests can watch TV or use the free-use PC at the common room. Nara Train Station is a 15-minute walk away.
Just 10 minutes from JR Nara Train Station on the free shuttle, Heijo offers a summertime outdoor pool, a tea cafe and hilltop views of Nara city. Guests enjoy a traditional in-room breakfast and dinner in the Japanese-style rooms
Nara Park Hotel
Boasting a hot spring bath, Nara Park Hotel offers Japanese-style rooms fitted with tatami (woven-straw) flooring. Guests can take a dip in the swimming pool in the summer or savour a relaxing massage at a surcharge.
Chiisana Hotel Nara Club
Chiisana Hotel Nara Club is a cosy little bed & breakfast, only a 5-minute walk from Nara Park. It offers rooms with a private bathroom, free Wi-Fi throughout and an internet corner. Free parking is available upon advance request.
Guest House Narabiyori
The completely non-smoking Guest House Narabiyori is a 7-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Train Station and offers simple Japanese-style accommodation with shared showers in a renovated traditional building.
Guest House Route 53
Guest House Route 53 is situated in Nara, 600 metres from Kofuku-ji and 1.3 km from Todaiji Temple. Guest House Route 53 features free WiFi throughout the property. There is a shared kitchen at the property. Nara Park is 1.
Offering public baths, Sarusawaike Yoshidaya is situated in front of Sarusawa-ike Pond. Kofuku-ji Temple is just a 2-minute walk away. Free WiFi is available on site.