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Kansai | Nara Prefecture

Nara City

Nara is well known for all the wild deer roaming around the city, along with the deep cultural and religious background of Japan.

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Nara City

Nara-shi is the capital of Nara Prefecture. The city is located in the northern part of Nara Prefecture bordering Kyoto Prefecture. Seven important shrines, temples, and world heritage site are within the boarders specifically Todaiji Temple, Saidaiji Temple, Kofukuji Temple, Kasuga Shrine, Gangoji Temple, Yakushiji Temple, Toshodaiji Temple, and the Heijo Palace, along with Kasugayama Primeval Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The perfect spot to experience both, Buddhism Temple, Todaiji, and the Shinto shrine, Kasuga Shrine would be Nara park, with both locations surrounding the park. Most visitors come to Nara Park to interact with the wild deer of Nara.

Deer in Nara are considered to be sacred and a messenger of God, thus being loved and protected for thousands of years. The deer that roam in Nara-shi is wild and the population is around 1,500, growing every year. There are special deer crackers that can be bought and fed to the deer, but they tend to get aggressive and bite the corners of your clothing to get their treat. Many visitors, local and foreign, come to Nara-shi in search for the cultural and religious background of Japan. Many believe Nara is the birth place of Japan, and in 2010, Nara celebrated the 1300th anniversary of its founding as the ancient capital of Japan from 710 to 784. There are also many festivals celebrated each year, a couple famous ones would be Setsubun Mantoro every February and August, where all the lamp and lanterns light up in Kasuga Shrine, and the antler cutting festival every October to protect the deer from hurting people, which dates back to the Edo period.

Things To Do in Nara City

photo of Horyuji Temple

Kansai | Nara | Nara City

Horyuji Temple

Horyuji temple is part of the “Seven Great Temples of Nara” and the oldest wooden structures in the world can be found in this area.

photo of Todaiji Temple

Kansai | Nara | Nara City

Todaiji Temple

Todaiji Temple is one of the major landmarks in Nara. It is known for housing the largest bronze statue of Buddha in Japan.

photo of Kasuga Taisha Shrine

Kansai | Nara | Nara City

Kasuga Taisha Shrine

Kasuga Taisha Shrine is the shrine for the Fujiwara clan. The interior is famous for the many stone and bronze lamps, along with Kasuga-zukuri architectural building style.

photo of Nara National Museum

Kansai | Nara | Nara City

Nara National Museum

Nara National Museum is one of Japans national museums mainly housing Buddhism works of art.

photo of Nara Deer Park

Kansai | Nara | Nara City

Nara Deer Park

Nara Park is the most popular location for interacting with wild deer in Nara.

photo of Isuien Garden

Kansai | Nara | Nara City

Isuien Garden

Isuien is a Japanese style garden located in Nara. The garden was established in the Meiji era, and is a walking garden to enjoy the scenic view of Nara.

photo of Yakushiji Temple

Kansai | Nara | Nara City

Yakushiji Temple

Yakushiji Temple is one of the oldest imperial temples in Japan as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

photo of Kofukuji Temple

Kansai | Nara | Nara City

Kofukuji Temple

Kofukuji Temple is one of the oldest and among seven of the great temples from the Heian period.

photo of Kofukuji National Treasure Museum

Kansai | Nara | Nara City

Kofukuji National Treasure Museum

The Kofukiji National Treasure Museum is located within Kofukiji Temple in Nara.

photo of Omizutori

Kansai | Nara | Nara City

Omizutori

Omizutori is a one of the oldest traditional Japanese Buddhism Festival that takes place each year in Nara.

photo of Toshodaiji Temple

Kansai | Nara | Nara City

Toshodaiji Temple

Toshodaiji Temple is one of the oldest Buddhism temples in Japan with a Chinese Tang Dynasty architectural style structure.

photo of Heijo Palace

Kansai | Nara | Nara City

Heijo Palace

Heijo Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the original Imperial Palace during the Nara Period.

photo of Yoshikien Garden

Kansai | Nara | Nara City

Yoshikien Garden

Yoshikien Garden is a traditional Japanese style garden located in Nara and established around 1919 during the Meiji Period.