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Leisure / Outdoors Spots in Nara Area

  • Nara Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Narashi Zoushichou · Kasugano Town, Noborioji Town, Takahata-machi other
    Nara Park is located directly next to the famous temples and shrine of Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, and Kofukuji Temple, as well as the Nara National Museum. The park is inhabited by sika deer, designated as a Natural Monument, and visitors can observe these wild animals up close. Throughout the year important buildings in the park are lit up at night, which engenders a magical atmosphere very different to that of the daytime.
  • Nara National Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Narashi Noboriojichou 50
    This is a museum which opened in Nara City in 1895. The “Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall (in the main building)” which was designed by the court architect, Katayama Tokuma is a Western-style architectural structure from the Meiji period and has been designated as an Important Cultural Property. There are four exhibition halls in the museum, with the museum’s collection focusing on Japanese Buddhist art from the Asuka period up until the Kamakura period. In addition, a great number of National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties are among the artifacts held and exhibited at the museum. The museum is famous for opening an exhibition of “Shosoin-ten” (Exhibition of Shosoin Treasures) in Autumn every year.
  • Ikoma Sanjo Amusement Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Ikomashi Nabatachou 2312-1
    A long-standing family-oriented amusement park which was established in 1929 and which occupies the top of Mt. Ikoma 642 meters above the ground. The park can be reached by riding the Ikoma Cable Line from Ikoma Station. The park is filled with attractions to delight children and parents, including a merry-go-round, flume ride, and the oldest “flying tower” plane ride in Japan. Park visitors can also enjoy spectacular views of Osaka City, the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, Nara, and Kyoto; in summer, the park is open at night, and the night view is considered superb. Park entry free.
  • Isuien Garden & Neiraku Museum
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    3.5
    11 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Narashi Suimonchou 74
    This is the only “chisen-kaiyu-shiki teien” or pond strolling garden in Nara City, Isuien Garden consists of two gardens built during the Edo period and the Meiji period. Its appeal lies in the fact that you can comfortably appreciate the Nara-like landscape in a peaceful location with Tōdai-ji’s Great South Gate, Mt. Wakakusa, Mt. Kasugaokuyama and Mt. Mikasa. The Neiraku Museum which is located within the park holds and exhibits fine art such as antique Chinese bronzeware, and Chinese, Korean and Japanese ceramics and porcelain.

    A very small museum next to Isuien Gardens. Both were built by the same person (Nakamura Junsaku) & Neiraku Museum contains his personal collection of works (seals, mirrors, pottery, etc) from Japan...

  • Yoshikien Garden
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Narashi Noboriojichou
    This is a Japanese-style garden and a Place of Scenic Beauty within Nara which sits adjacent to Isuien Park. It is said that it was built on the site of a branch temple of Kofukuji Temple, Manishuin Temple. You can enjoy the three aspects of the garden; the pond garden, the moss garden and the tea ceremony garden with Mt. Kasuga and Mt. Wakakusa as a backdrop. The former Shohoin family residence and the separate tearooms within the garden have been designated as Tangible Cultural Properties of Nara Prefecture. In Autumn, the fall colored leaves which flutter down into the moss garden create a beautiful scene. Advance reservation is necessary to use the tearooms.
  • The Museum, Archaeological Institute of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Kashiharashi Unebichou 50-2
    This museum displays actual materials dug up by the Archaeological Institute of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture as part of its excavation and research ancient ruins. Focusing on items excavated in Nara Prefecture, visitors can catch a glimpse of the history of Nara from the Paleolithic era to the Muromachi period. Particularly famous pieces in the museum’s collection include Japan’s largest cylindrical Haniwa statue, an Important Cultural Property excavated from the Mt. Mesuri Tumulus; and a gilt bronze horse harness excavated from the Fujinoki Tomb and a designated National Treasure. Original merchandise such as Haniwa key chains, can be purchased in the museum shop.
  • Nara Prefecture Complex of Man’yo Culture
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    4.0
    23 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Asuka 10
    This cultural museum focuses on the Manyoshu ancient collection of Japanese poetry as well as other classical culture. There's the Japanese Painting Exhibition Hall which has a variety of exhibitions centered around Manyo Japanese paintings, the Manyo Theater where you can experience the Manyo world through music and light, as well as the Special Exhibition Hall where you can see replicas of artifacts from the Asukaike Workshop archeological site discovered on the premises. There are also the Manyo Library and Information Room, Museum Shop, and Manyo Garden located onsite.

    万葉文化館という名称から、文学系の博物館かと思っていましたが、そんなことはないです。文化に焦点を絞り、当時の文化や近隣アジア諸国との比較展示などもあります。また体験系の設備も多く、正直深い内容ではないですが、とても楽しい時間を過ごすことができます。

  • Kusuri no Yakata Uda City History and Culture Museum
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    4.5
    7 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Udashi Oudakami 2003
    A museum housed inside the former residence of the Hosokawa family, which operated a medicinal wholesaler passed down for generations from 1806. The museum is located in Ouda, Uda City, Nara Prefecture. The building, standing along a former highway route, was built in the late Edo period; the sign for the former company’s medicine brand, Tenju-maru, still stands atop the building, and the structure still looks the same as when the area once flourished as a production location for medicines. Inside, the museum presents historical materials connected to the Hosokawa family and the local area. The building was also once the home of the mother’s side of the family of the founder of Fujisawa Pharmaceutical (which eventually merged with Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical to create Astellas Pharma), and the museum thus also exhibits materials related to Fujisawa Pharmaceutical.

    宇陀松山城跡の麓にある、重要伝統的建造物保存地区の松山地区にある、公開町家。もともとは薬問屋で、2階の軒下に立派な看板がかかっていて、目印になっています。この地域を代表する町家で、暮らしぶりがよくわかります。

  • Todaiji Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Narashi Suimonchou 100
    A museum situated inside the Todaiji Culture Center in Nara City, Nara Prefecture which preserves and displays the treasures of the Todaiji Temple. Through designated National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties, you can learn about the history of the Todaiji and the thinking of the people involved in the temple since its founding, as well as the significance of the Todaiji temple itself. The museum displays a variety of sculptures, calligraphy works, and handicrafts by era, including Nikko and Gakko Bosatsu Ritsuzo (standing statues of Suryaprabha and Candraprabha), designated National Treasures; and an Important Cultural Property-designated Senju Kannon Bosatsu standing figure of a thousand-armed Kannon. The museum also holds special exhibitions.
  • Hakomoto-kan Konya
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Yamatokoriyamashi Konyamachi 19-1
    A hands-on experience-based tourism facility located in Yamatokoriyama City, Nara Prefecture where visitors can enjoy traditional indigo dying and goldfish crafts. Situated inside an old townhome which was used to operate an indigo dying business starting in the Edo period. The facility’s fat exposed beams and lattice doors create a charming atmosphere. Hakomoto-kan’s indigo dying classes (reservation only) give participants the chance to use chopsticks, clothespins, film cases, and other at-hand tools to create a unique dyed good. The facility’s collection of goldfish-themed crafts, artwork, and everyday life items spans some 1,000 pieces. A rotating selection of these items is always placed on display for visitors to enjoy viewing.
  • Sakurai City Center for Archaeological Operations
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    3.0
    6 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Sakuraishi Shiba 58-2
    This public facility is in Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture, said to be the place where the Yamato Court originated and home to many historical cultural artifacts. Research findings and exhibitions on various items excavated from within Sakurai City are kept and displayed here. The permanent exhibits focus on items excavated in 1971 onward and introduce the history of the Sakurai region from the Paleolithic period to the Asuka and Nara periods. Exhibits focused on special topics and research themes are hosted in collaboration with various museums and archives as well.

    2018年に2月に訪問した時は、古墳時代の外来土器の展示をしていました。ユニークな形の土器も色々あり、こんなに綺麗に保存されていると、驚かされたものもありました。出展数は少ないですが、見学料200円なので、価値はありました。

  • Tenri Municipal Kurozuka Kofun Museum
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    4.0
    11 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Tenrishi Yanagimotochou 1118-2
    This museum is situated in Yanagimoto Town, Tenri City, Nara Prefecture. It is focused on the “Kurozuka Kofun”, keyhole-shaped tomb, from which a number of artifacts were excavated, including the 33-sided “Sankakuen shinjukyo” bronze mirror excavated in 1998, which has the most sides of any bronze mirror discovered in Japan. Inside, you’ll find a replica of the tomb’s pit rock chamber as well as replicas of the artifacts. There are also many materials and panel displays on the Kofun period, the Kurozuka Kofun, and the excavations. The view of the rock chamber from the second-floor stairwell is breathtaking.

    黒塚古墳のすぐ横にあるガイダンス施設です 原寸大の竪穴式石室が復元されていて、三角縁 神獣鏡が置かれていた状態がよくわかります ボランティアの方が詳しく説明してくれます 周辺にはたくさんの古墳がありますので併せて 廻ってみて下さい

  • Morino-Kyuyakuen Garden
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    3.5
    11 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Udashi Oudakamishin 1880
    Morino -Kyuyakuen Garden, located on the hill behind the longstanding “Morino Yoshino-kuzu Honpo” in Uda City, Nara Prefecture, opened in the Muromachi period. It is currently the oldest private herb garden in Japan. It was opened by 11th-generation Tosuke Morino in the Kyoho period and has been maintained for nearly 300 years. Uda has been known as a region famous for herbs for a long time, and there are approximately 250 types of herbs cultivated here as naturally as possible. The seasonal blossoms are gorgeous as well, delighting visitors year-round.

    重要伝統的建造物群保存地区、宇陀松山町にある薬草園。隣にある森野吉野葛本舗で入園料を支払って入場します。森野家は江戸初期からこの地で代々葛製造をしており、江戸享保の時代に薬草を植えてから連綿と続く薬草園とのこと。門前には昭和天皇が来られたことを記念する碑も建っています。

  • Ikaruga Cultural Property Utilization Center
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    4.0
    11 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Ikomagunikarugachou Houryujinishi 1-11-14
    This is a cultural property examination and research center located in Horyuji-nishi 1-chome, Ikaruga Town. It spreads information regarding the preservation and display of cultural properties, and promotes the study of the Fujinoki Tumulus and Ikaruga's history through images and exhibits of Fujinoki Tumulus burial accessory replicas.

    藤の木古墳の副葬品のレプリカや発掘時の映像を見せていただきました。映像は20分位、発掘の状況や当時の担当者へのインタビューなどが中心ですが当時の緊迫感が分かります。ここは単に古墳の紹介だけなのか、研究もしているのか分かりませんが後者ならば古代歴史の解明を期待したいものです。入場料は無料です。

  • Katsuragi City Sumo Museum Kehayaza
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    3.5
    10 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Katsuragishi Taima 83-1
    This is a museum along Prefectural Route 160 in Taima, Katsuragi City. They display materials related to Taima no Kehaya, the founder of sumo wrestling. Inside the museum there is also a Dohyo (Sumo wrestling ring) of identical size to those used in official Sumo tournaments, and since visitors are free to climb up onto the ring, it is a popular place for Sumo fans. 

    Sumo wrestling has always been something I saw on TV or in silly cartoons. I was expecting my first up close viewing of a sumo match at the Sumo Museum to demonstrate the strict ritualistic...

  • Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography Nara City
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Narashi Takabatakechou 600-1
    This is a photo gallery next to Shin-Yakushi-ji Temple in Takabatake Town, Nara City. The gallery possesses the entire 80,000 item collection of photographer Irie Taikichi, known for capturing the various Yamato scenery around Nara, and holds exhibitions based around these works and also the work of amateurs. The building itself, a work of architect Kisho Kurokawa, is another highlight and represents the importance of harmony with the environment. 
  • Nara Prefectural Museum of Art
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    3.5
    27 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Narashi Noboriojichou 10-6
    This is an art museum along Prefectural Route 754 in Noborioji Town, Nara City. They opened in 1973 based on the collection of Japanese-style paintings, ukiyo-e wood block prints and handicrafts of Edo Period donated by Kanpo Yoshikawa, a student of study of folklore history and Japanese-style painter. Since then through donations from all over they have collected around 4,100 pieces of art and crafts from the Kamakura Period to the modern day. They hold special exhibitions related to the history of Nara, and art exhibitions as exchanges with international art museums. 

    The National museum was closed for more than 1 month due to exhibit change over. We were sent here instead which had a super show on a well known Japanese painter with an all inclusive one man...

  • Futakamiyama Furusato Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Katsuragishi Shinzaike 492-1
    This is a nature park at the foot of Mt. Nijyo, a mountain with two peaks, commonly referred to as “male” and “female.” It is a lovely, peaceful park, with flowers blooming throughout in all seasons. There is a grassy meadow suitable for picnicking in the middle of the park. In the eastern part is Wanpaku Plaza, an area wiih large numbers of wooden playground equipment, and to the west is an observation deck. These features make the park a popular spot for families.
  • Shouhaku Art Museum
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    4.0
    17 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Narashi Tomigaoka 2-1-4
    The Shouhaku Art Museum is located close to the Obuchi Pond in Tomigaoka 2-chome, Nara City. It was opened in 1994 thanks to works donated by Shoko Uemura and Atsushi Uemura. The collection of Nihonga (Japanese-style paintings) on display spans three generations from Shoen Uemura who was the first woman to receive the Order of Culture, to Shoko Uemura and Atsushi Uemura.

    This museum is supposed to house a collection of works by Uemura Shoen and her family. I imagine this is the reason most people visit. Beware to check the exhibit before visiting. On my visit the...

  • Yagyu Flower Garden
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Narashi Yagyuchou 403
    Yagyu Flower Garden is a botanical garden in Yagyu Town, Nara City. The garden is open from early June through to early July. In the roughly 10,000 square meter site are planted 800,000 irises of 450 different species. The best time to visit is the two weeks after about June 10. The 55 species of hydrangea are also well worth seeing and the best time to see them is around one month after June 10.

Nara Main Areas

around-area-map

With a reputation almost as stellar as that of Kyoto, Nara is a must-visit for those searching for the remains of “traditional Japan.” The largely green Nara city holds the majority of the prefecture's treasures, such as the iconic Todai-ji Temple, in which a 15-meter tall Great Buddha sits, and Nara Park, where deer flock to befriend passersby. While mountains are by no means hard to come by in this area, for hiking with a reward, head to the Kii Mountains' Yoshino district in spring, when the hillsides put on an impressive display of white and pink cherry blossoms.

Nara Photo Album

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