Japan Travel by NAVITIME - Japan Travel Guides, Transit Search and Itinerary Planner

Culture / Tour Spots in Nara Area

  • Nara National Museum
    rating-image
    4.5
    473 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.

    Nara National Museum held special exhibitions periodically. Entry fee required but the artifacts displayed thereat were valuable. Worth the visit.

  • Isuien Garden & Neiraku Museum
    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.
  • Yoshikien Garden
    rating-image
    3.0
    1 Reviews
    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.

    日本庭園 吉城園の中に食事と喫茶のできる趣のある建物があり、そこで庭園を見ながら、ゆっくりくつろげます。 建物の中から見る景色は、庭を散策して見る景色とは違いますね。

  • 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
    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.
  • Kusuri no Yakata Uda City History and Culture Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    2 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.

    宇陀市の重要伝統的建造物群保存地区内にある建築物です。うだアニマルパークに行った際に寄りましたが、街全体が趣がありいい感じです。

  • Manyo Botanical Garden (Kasugataisha shrine Garden)
    rating-image
    4.0
    67 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Narashi Kasuganochou 160 inside Kasuga Taisha
    A spacious three hectare botanical garden which first opened in 1932. The garden is planted with some 300 varieties of plants which appear in the poems of the ancient Man'yoshu poetry anthology; the wisteria blossoms which appear from late April to late May are particularly stunning. You can enjoy viewing the elegant, light purple blossoms at eye-height.

    Nara is the sort of place that you have a timetable of things to see or you just wander it. If youve read my other stuff, you know we wandered it! In that wandering we found the Manyo Botanical...

  • 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
    rating-image
    4.0
    14 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...

  • Sakurai City Center for Archaeological Operations
    rating-image
    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
    rating-image
    4.0
    15 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...

  • Morino-Kyuyakuen Garden
    rating-image
    3.5
    12 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.

    大宇陀の重要伝統的建造物群保存地区の中のハイライトである。建物の裏手を登ると、広大な薬草園が広がっている。「八代将軍徳川吉宗が推進した薬種国産化政策の一端を担った。」とのことである。昔は期間限定の公開だった記憶だが、今は年間を通しての公開であり、300円の入館料で薬草リスト・園内の薬草マップ込みの案内資料をいただける。植物画「松山本草」は現物は大阪大学総合学術博物館にあって、展覧会もなかなか開催さ...

  • Ikaruga Cultural Property Utilization Center
    rating-image
    4.5
    14 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.

    藤ノ木古墳の説明をこちらで受けることができます。 シアタールームで 発掘されたときの様子や、古墳内部が等身大で再現されていたりと、かなり時間をかけて見られて面白かったです。

  • Katsuragi City Sumo Museum Kehayaza
    rating-image
    3.5
    13 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. 

    The history and philosophy of Sumo is fully explained, before two sumo wrestlers engage in the “best of three” bouts. Then a bold volunteer from our group accepted the offer to challenge one of the...

  • Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography Nara City
    rating-image
    4.0
    42 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...

  • Nara Prefectural Museum of Art
    rating-image
    3.5
    29 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...

  • Shouhaku Art Museum
    rating-image
    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...

  • 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.
  • Yanagisawa Bunko
    rating-image
    3.5
    13 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Yamatokoriyamashi Jounaichou 2-18
    Yanagisawa Bunko is a library dedicated to local history located near to the Koriyama Castle Ruins in Jonai Town, Yamatokoriyama City. The library is home to a collection of materials donated by the Yanagisawa family who served as lord of Koriyama for generations, and books on the local area. As well as housing old texts like paintings, writings and poetry by successive lords, and artifacts pertaining to the duties and administration of the clan, the library holds exhibitions three times a year.

    柳沢家というと甲斐武田家の流れを組む武家(本当か否かしらないが)であり、5代将軍綱吉公の時代には大変な権力を得た人物を輩出した家として記憶しています。 文庫内(小さい民家)では奥の和室で幕末の郡山藩の資料が展示されていました。

  • Takidani Hanashobu Garden
    rating-image
    3.0
    1 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Udashi Murou Takidani 348
    Beautiful flowers compete for attention in the more than 33,000 meter squared Takidani Hanashobu Garden. Here you can enjoy various events such as firefly evenings, blueberry picking and making jam. In the autumn and winter, you can taste some delicious seasonal cuisine such as charcoal grilled matsutake mushroom sukiyaki (Japanese hot pot) and Botan Nabe (wild boar stew). With a restaurant, coffee shop, and shops, visitors can enjoy a full relaxing day here. The bus to Takidani Hanashobu Garden from Sanbonmatsu Station on the Kintetsu Osaka Line takes about five minutes.

    入場料は850円でした。一万坪の園内には600種100万株の勝負が植えられていますが、その他のお花類も充実しています。来訪時はしょうぶのシーズンが終わりかけであった為、あじさいの印象の方が残っています。

Nara 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

Browse Interests