10 Best Reasons To Visit Nara

Explore the top 10 reasons why Nara should be on your itinerary when visiting Japan.

Every corner of Japan offers something unique and breathtaking, but there’s something exceptionally magical about Nara. This charming city, nestled in the heart of the country, is a fusion of history, nature, and vibrant culture that is bound to fascinate every traveler. Here are the top 10 reasons why Nara should be on your Japan travel itinerary.

1. Experience History at the Todaiji Temple

todai-ji temple
Todai-ji Temple

The Todaiji Temple is an epitome of Japan’s rich history. This ancient structure, which houses the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue, is a sight to behold. Here, you can feel the reverberations of history as you stand in awe of this magnificent architectural marvel.

2. Deer at Nara Park

nara deer park
Nara deer park

Stroll through the Nara Park and be greeted by hundreds of friendly deer, considered sacred messengers of the gods in Shintoism. Visitors can feed these gentle creatures with special crackers available at the park, making for a unique, interactive experience.

3. Kasuga Taisha

Kasuga Taisha Shinto Shrine
Kasuga Taisha Shinto Shrine

Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine, is known for its mesmerizing stone lanterns that line the approach. This Shinto shrine, enveloped in serene woods, hosts the Lantern Festival twice a year, a spectacle not to be missed.

4. Nara National Museum

Nara National Museum
Nara National Museum

Art enthusiasts must visit the Nara National Museum, renowned for its comprehensive collection of Buddhist art, including statues, paintings, scrolls, and ceremonial objects. Here, the past comes alive through the exquisite craftsmanship of each artifact.

5. Beauty of Isuien Garden

Isuien and Nandaimon
Isuien and Nandaimon

Isuien Garden is a haven of tranquility. This Japanese-style garden, featuring a teahouse, ponds, and stunning views of the surrounding hills and temples, showcases the natural beauty of every season.

6. Mount Wakakusa

WakakusaYama
Wakakusayama

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Mount Wakakusa should be on your itinerary. The moderate hike up the verdant hill provides panoramic views of the city, while the annual Wakakusa Yamayaki festival, where the entire hillside is set ablaze, is a sight to behold.

7. Shin-Yakushiji Temple

History lovers will be fascinated by the Shin-Yakushiji Temple, home to a national treasure: the Yakushi Trinity statues. The intricate carvings and the temple’s spiritual ambiance make it a rewarding visit.

8. Yoshikien Garden

yoshikien garden

Yoshikien Garden is another hidden gem in Nara, especially for those seeking peace and quiet. With its beautiful moss garden, tea ceremony house, and a pond filled with koi, it’s a perfect spot for reflection and relaxation.

9. Nara Cuisine

You can’t visit Nara without trying its local cuisine. From the famed Kakinoha-zushi (sushi wrapped in persimmon leaves) to the hearty Chagayu (tea rice porridge), Nara’s culinary delights will satiate all food lovers.

10. Higashimuki Shopping Street

higashimuki shopping street
Higashimuki shopping street

Last but not least, head to Higashimuki Shopping Street for your shopping needs. This bustling arcade offers a wide variety of shops selling souvenirs, clothing, and food.

Nara is not only the cradle of Japanese civilization but also a city that knows how to preserve and showcase its history while keeping up with the times. From centuries-old temples to serene gardens, bustling shopping streets, and delectable cuisine, Nara truly has it all. So, why wait? Plan your trip to Nara today.