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.
  • Naramachi Mechanical Toy Museum
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    4.0
    74 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Narashi Inyouchou 7
    Located inside a traditional Naramachi townhouse, this hands-on museum allows guests to touch and play with toys from yesteryear. The museum's permanent exhibits feature reproductions of mechanical toys from the Edo and later periods which guests can play with. It also hosts events including seminars where participants can try their hand at making toys.

    The mechanical toy museum is a must! Its free, which feels weird after having enjoyed our visit so much. The lady who was showing us around was very pleasant and spoke good english. Personally we...

  • Nara Prefectural Umami Kyuryo Park
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    4.0
    50 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Kitakatsuragi-gun
    A park sitting astride Koryo-cho and Kawai-cho, Kitakatsuragi County. The park is dotted with ancient burial mounds and equipped with large fields, large play areas, a botanical garden, and a cafe. A variety of flowers bloom throughout the seasons including plum trees, roses, and azaleas, and in April they hold the Umami Tulip Fair.

    馬見丘陵にある古墳群の保全も目的としている公園 なので園内には数多くの古墳があります ナガレ山古墳は葺石や埴輪など整備され墳丘部にも上ることができます

  • Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography Nara City
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    4.0
    43 Reviews
    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. 

    Its a bit of a walk from the main sites, but well worth it. There were two excellent exhibits and the building itself is contemplative and beautifully done. There was also a bird exhibit possibly...

  • Ikoma Sanroku Park
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    4.0
    39 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Ikoma-shi Tawaraguchicho 2088
    This park sprawls halfway up Mt. Ikoma. Situated around two kilometers from the city center, the park is situated in the lush, natural beauty of Kongo-Ikoma-Kisen Quasi-National Park, and visitors can have fun surrounded by nature. The park also has a campground and a variety of other facilities, and also holds various programs. The park's events are also popular and include things like forest workshops, a mountain base outdoor school, and family outdoor classes.

    生駒山の傾斜を活かした公園。アスレチックがボリュームあって、小学校の高学年まで楽しめます。運動不足の大人には少しキツいかも。広場は土のグラウンドで広大なため、それぞれの家族がいろんな遊びを楽しんでいます。写真は、一番高い場所から撮影したものです。生駒市街地が見渡せます。モンベルはもっと前面に出して味を出して欲しいところ。

  • Uda Animal Park
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    4.5
    26 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Udashi Oudakoutsuke 75-1
    Uda Animal Park contains not only a community plaza but also an animal study center and a scenic viewing area. Visitors (subject to certain age limits) can milk cows, ride ponies, feed goats or sheep, and have other encounters with animals, as well as practicing crafts such as churning butter. They can view panel displays about animals, participate in question and answer sessions with Park employees, and enjoy other fun activities that teach them about animals.

    土曜日で多分混んでるかと思いきや、コロナウイルスの影響で、人影はまばらです。餌やり、有料の体験も全て中止です。一応一回りは見れます。チョツト物足りないけどノンビリ出来ました。駐車、入場料の無料は家族連れには良いですよ。コロナが治まつたら再訪します。

  • Nara Prefectural Museum of Art
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    3.5
    30 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...

  • Daijo-in Temple Garden Heritage Center
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    4.0
    27 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Narashi Takabatakechou 1083-1
    This Heritage Center is a museum in the Garden of the Former Daijo-in Temple, which is located along National Route 169 in Takabatake-cho in the city of Nara. It contains materials connected with Daijo-in Temple, which was founded in 1087 and abandoned during the anti-Buddhist movement in the early Meiji Period (the middle of the nineteenth century). Open to the public free of charge, this museum displays a reconstructed model of what the temple looked like. A teahouse and conference rooms are available to rent.

    The people working here are wonderful. We were there when a group of women were serving tea and cakes. They were so welcoming and eager to talk with us.

  • Nara National Museum
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    3.5
    2 Reviews
    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.

    国立博物館に所属する建物で現在は仏教美術資料センターの名称になっていますが、文化財としての名称は旧奈良県物産陳列所で国の重要文化財に指定されている建物です。竣工は明治35年。外観を眺めるだけでも、ちょうど咲いた桜がとてもきれいでした。

  • Tenri University Sankokan Museum
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    4.0
    20 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Tenri-shi Morimedocho 250
    A museum along the Minami-Oji Road in Morimedo-cho, Tenri City. Their collection includes nearly 300,000 pieces related to everyday culture and classic works of art from around the world. Their permanent exhibition includes part of the collected centered around the twin themes of World Culture and World Antique Art. They also hold special exhibitions, themed exhibitions, lectures, and workshops.

    My focus was in the Japanese immigrant area where I could check the ingenuity of Japanese people when faced with local adversities. There are many objects, since kitchen itens until musical...

  • Shouhaku Art Museum
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    4.0
    19 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...

  • The Museum Yamato Bunkakan
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    4.0
    20 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Narashi Gakuenminami 1-11-6
    The Namako-style walls of The Museum Yamato Bunkakan are evocative of the architecture of the Momoyama Period. Its corridors are supported by imposing wooden framework reminiscent of the kitchen of a Zen monastery, while the soft light from the paper screen doors gives the interior a dignified atmosphere. The museum's collection, which centers primarily on paintings, writings, sculptures, ceramics, lacquer work, metalwork, textiles, and glasswork from Japan, China, and Korea, includes four National Treasures, 31 Important Cultural Properties, and 14 important art objects. The museum also holds exhibits on various themes and is a place where beautiful seasonal flowers can be enjoyed all year long.

    静な住宅街を抜けて美術館の入口に立つと、様々な樹木が生えた小高い丘と緩やかな坂道が眼前に。 気候がよければ一段と華やかだと思います。 美術館自体は今回は企画展、竹の中庭を挟んで右に梅、左に桜をモチーフにした日本画、焼き物等様々な作品が展示されていました。 展示数は多くないので一つ一つじっくり鑑賞できました。

  • Kashihara City Museum of Insects
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    3.5
    21 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Kashihara-shi Minamiyamacho 624
    A museum in Minamiyama-cho, Kashihara City. On display are insect and fossil specimens and in the butterfly greenhouse you can observe butterflies from the Yaeyama region of Okinawa. Besides regular themed exhibitions, special events including observation parties are held to help you learn all about insects.

    Im not an insect enthusiast, but I was taken here as part of a tour. The butterfly greenhouse was the most interesting part; I also enjoyed the social interaction in making origami insects.

  • Futakamiyama Furusato Park
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    4.0
    18 Reviews
    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.

    公園の中にとても傾斜のある長い階段があります。運動したい人にとってはとてもいい運動になります。営業時間があるので、夜などは入れません。

  • Murou Art Forest
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    4.5
    15 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Udashi Murou Miami 181
    This park is located in Murou, Uda City features a number of monuments created by Israeli sculptor Dani Karavan, known for his outdoor pieces that blend into the natural environment. This outdoor art gallery was intended to represent harmony with the surrounding nature.

    An hour drive from OSAKA or NARA, in the middle of a forest is the location of this unique Muro Art Forest. It is the size of 5 football fields surrounded by wonderful mountains and trees. In the...

  • Tenri Municipal Kurozuka Kofun Museum
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    4.0
    16 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.

    This museum is in the quiet old town of Yanagimoto, which can be easily reached from the JR train station of the same name. Theres an ancient Kofun Era burial mound at this site. The museum...

  • Ikaruga Cultural Property Utilization Center
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    4.0
    15 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.

    すぐ近くにある藤ノ木古墳の出土物を展示するほか、古墳の意義を解説してくれる施設だ。古墳そのものは近くに保存してあるため、円墳のその姿を見ることはできるが、日本の歴史の中でこの古墳がどんな位置にあるのかはわからない。そこを解説してくれるのがこの施設だ。馬具類や刀剣類、石棺の、レプリカだが、実物が展示されている。

  • Hakomoto-kan Konya
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    4.0
    15 Reviews
    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.

    We had a wonderful experience learning techniques for dyeing with real indigo at this beautiful old indigo workshop. We had a private lesson for just the two of us with a lovely teacher who, although...

  • Katsuragi Sanroku Park
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    4.5
    13 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Katsuragi-shi Teraguchi 1563
    A park located in Teraguchi, Katsuragi City. The 12-hectare park's facilities include a grass lawn, gateball ground, playground, and multipurpose field which can be used for barbecuing. Visitors can also view seasonal flowers like cherry blossoms, azaleas, and rhododendrons.

    葛城山の躑躅は余りにも有名である。一目百万本とも云われる。 花が大好きな家人がぜひ見たいとゴールデンウイークに言い出した。 調べると五月の中旬から六月にかけてがピークらしい。ロープウェイは一時間待ちは普通。そこで高原ロッジに宿泊することにした。ところがこの時期は、七月まではすべて満室だという。仕方なく混雑を避けて早朝に出かけることにした。六時に家を出て九時にロープウェイの駐車場に着くとすでに車がい...

  • Takayama Chikurin'en
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    3.5
    14 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Ikoma-shi Takayamacho 3440
    "Encircled by the Ikoma Mountains, famous nationwide as a quasi-national park, Ikoma City in Nara Prefecture is known to many as a tourism destination due to this spectacular scenery as well as its abundant shrines, temples, and historic sites. This beautiful park is located on the northern extremity of Ikoma. Open to the general public, facilities include a museum with an exhibition room, Japanese room, and training room; and the Chikubuan tearoom. The park also offers a variety of activities and classes, and holds live demonstrations of Takayama tea whisk production. In addition, the park holds the nighttime Takayama Takeakari ""bamboo illumination"" event in early October which delights visitors with mysterious and magical scenery."

    If you are interested in Japanese craft-making, then this place is for you. If you are interested in strolling through gardens, then this place is for you. If you are interested in museums of...

Nara Areas

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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.

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