Nara is one of the most beautiful cities in Japan! Depending on the length of your stay in Japan, should be on your must-see list! And if you don’t have enough time, consider a full day will be enough to enjoy the city!
First, let’s talk about how to get to beautiful Nara. The quickest way is from Osaka or Kyoto, taking the Japan Rail to get to JR Nara Station, it’s a 32/49 min journey. The best way to plan your travel trip by train is to visit the JP website, so you can get information for your travel pass.
At Nara station, you can get a free map of the city where there are highlighted all the things to see.
Going out of the station, you will see all the indications for the park’s entrance, the main attraction in Nara. Keep going straight and once you see the park, take the first entry that will guide you to Kofukuji Temple. You will see some deers on the way, in Nara Park, they are free to walk around! They are friendly as they are used to see people around all the time and more importantly, they get crackers from all the visitors to the park! You can buy them on your way to the Nara National Museum. Be aware it’s dangerous to give deer crackers once you go more into the park as they can become aggressive.
After visiting Nara National Museum, see The Yokshikien Garden and The Isuien Garden. They are free for tourist, and the Yokshikien Garden include a tea ceremony room. At this point, you will be ready to visit Todaiji Temple, one of the largest wooden buildings worldwide. Inside, we have the main room and Daidutsu. A bronze statue of ‘Big Buddha’ tall almost 15 mt, is one of the biggest bronze statues of Buddha existing.
Now, it’s time to move even more inside the park, making your way to Mount Wakakusayama. Besides all the amazing nature of the park, you can get a beautiful view of Nara City. Behind Mount Wakakusayama, there is a forest, which is not accessible to the public. As there are no more routes to take, you have to go down and make your way to the famous Kasuga-Taisha. On your way, you will see a lot of small temples. All temples have a protector and you can write on a wooden decoration (called Ema), your wish. Don’t forget to thanks the protector of the temple and leave a donation!
Kasuga-Taisha is famous as the temple of 10000 lanterns, his red color shine in the middle of the park. Highlight from gold and bronze lanterns all around. A lot of Japanese comes to this spot to get a photo-shoot with Kimonos.
Leaving Nara Park you can have a walk in the merchant district, Naramachi, which is one of the areas more classic with all wooden Japanese shops and restaurants where you can spend the evening before taking your train back.