Tours & Tickets
Nara is an ancient city, even older than Kyoto. After the Japanese royal family moved to Kyoto, it gradually became a quiet little town. The ancient town within the city has perfectly preserved characteristics of the Edo period, while Todai-ji Temple, Kofuku-ji Temple and Toshodaiji Temple still exude a strong traditional feel. World Heritage Site Kasuga-taisha, or Grand Shrine, is a great place to experience the lantern and “monkey” festivals in the Spring. Elegant sika deer roam freely through Nara Park, making it a perfect place to get closer to the native majestic wildlife. A hike up Wakayama Mountain offers a spectacular panoramic view of this ancient city. Nara may not draw the same crowds as other cities, but its unique historical heritage and tranquil atmosphere make it an attractive destination.
Nara Park is a vast open park located on the east side of Nara Street. Most of Nara's attractions, including grassy hills, Todaiji, Kasuga Grand Shrine, and the Nara National Museum, can be found gathered around here. Picturesque all year round, the park is home to hundreds of wild sika deer which roam the open meadows.
Todaij, located on the east side of Nara, boasts a history of over 1,200 years. As one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara, it has been listed as a World Cultural Heritage site. Jianzhen, an eminent monk of the Tang Dynasty in China, set up the temple here as the ordination hall for monks. The large bronze Buddha and the reconstructed East Hall are must-see attractions.
A local Shinto shrine, Kasuga Grand Shrine has a history of thousands of years and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was founded by the powerful Fujiwara family and is dedicated to four guardian spirits of the Fujiwara family. It is now an important place of worship in Japan. White deer are said to be the messengers of gods, of which this site has many. Visitors here can walk among the deer along the Kasuga Grand Shrine omotesando and immerse themselves in the nature of the surrounding ancient trees.