A visit to Nara Japan is a chance to see the first ever permanent capital city of the country.
Established in 710, many of Japan's traditional arts and crafts were first imported from China into this ancient capital.
Nara Attractions And Sightseeing
With many thanks to Adam Kalbarczyk for his fantastic photos of Nara
Nara Japan is famous for many of its historical buildings and ancient Japanese crafts. Perhaps the most famous is Todaiji Temple with its giant buddha housed inside the grounds.
This is the largest buddha in Japan, and some say the largest of its kind in the world standing at just under 15 meters tall. Add to that the fact that the wooden building where the buddha lives is the largest wooden building in the world and you get a feeling for the signficance of this place.
Other places to see include Kasuga Taisha, the most important shinto shrine in Nara. It was built to help protect the original capital. Look out of the 2,000 stone lanterns that lead up to the main entrance!
Nara Japan is also famous for its deer like the one pictured above.
A visit to Nara Park in the center of the city will give you plenty of opportunity to see these animals up close and personal.
You can buy food to feed them with and they are very used to getting food from people... so be careful! Sometimes they can get a little too enthusiastic and as cute as they may seem when you think of the likes of Bambi, when you have a few of them coming after you for food it can get a little scary. If you've got little ones with you keep them close.
If you get the chance also visit Naramachi and enjoy a walking tour through the old streets. This used to be a merchant district and you can still see a lot of the original layout and buildings.
Where Is Nara Japan?
Nara is only about an hour away from both Kyoto and Osaka to the south of Tokyo. It often gets bypassed by tourists in favor of its more famous neighbours, but it's well worth a visit in its own right.
To get to Nara, most people come via either Tokyo, Osaka, or Kyoto as there is no airport or bullet train station here. From Kyoto or Osaka you can get local trains or there are also plentiful buses that serve the city.
Once you arrive, the best way to get round the city is on the local bus.
Check out our Nara Japan map below to give you an idea of where the city is and where you'll find the main Nara attractions.