Spots in Nara Area

  • Kasuga Taisha Shrine
    rating-image
    4.5
    1751 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Kasuganochou 160
    This is a Shinto shrine located in Nara City. Kasuga Taisha Shrine is the grand head shrine of approximately 1,000 Kasuga shrines nationwide. The origins to the shrine lie in the early days of the Nara period, when Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto from Kashima-jingu Shrine was enshrined at Mt. Mikasa. The main shrine of the Kasuga structure which is a National Treasure has four buildings lined up, and in addition to the majestic and splendid south Gate and middle gate, there are many things such as fine and industrial art objects which have been designated as Important Cultural Properties. The Bantoro Festival (Lantern Festival) event is held on the day of Setsubun (Bean throwing night) and on the 14th and 15th of August when around 3,000 stone lanterns and hanging lanterns are lit with fire, and many worshipers come to look at this magical sight.

    First info upfront - we didnt actually go into the Shrine (paid entry), as we already had a sort of temple / shrine overkill and noticed that even the most significant places didnt give us the joy...

  • 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.
  • Yakushiji Temple
    rating-image
    4.0
    490 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Nishinokyouchou 457
    Together with the Kohfukuji Temple, the Yakushiji Temple is the headquarters of the Hosso school of Buddhism. The temple was built in 680 in the then-capital of Fujiwara-kyo by Emperor Tenmu to pray for the recovery of his ill consort, who later succeeded him as Empress Jito. The temple was moved to its current location in 718. Originally, the temple was comprised of a magnificent number of structures connected via galleries, but, excluding the East Pagoda, these were destroyed by fire and war. The colorful main hall, West Pagoda, central gate, galleries, and the largest grand hall inside the grounds have been rebuilt. The East Pagoda, a National Treasure and the temple’s only original structure remaining from when it was first erected, appears at first glance to be a six-tier pagoda but is in fact a three tier-one. (Note: The East Pagoda is scheduled to undergo restoration until June 2020.)

    If you havent visited Kyotos temple districts or want to see temples without the crowds in and around Kyoto, or youd like to see more temples, and youre in Nara overnight, Yakushi-ji and...

  • Tōdai-ji
    rating-image
    3.5
    14 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Zoushichou 406-1
    This temple which is located in Nara City is the head temple of the Kegon sect of Buddhism. The principal object of worship at the temple is Vairocana-Buddha which has become a symbol of Nara and is known as “Nara’s Big Buddha”. Emperor Shomu issued a decree to construct the Great Buddha in 743, and in order to enshrine that Great Buddha, Tōdai-ji was constructed using all the nation’s power. National Treasures such as the Nandaimon (Great South Gate), Daibutsuden (the Great Buddha), the bell tower and the Hokke-do Hall are dotted throughout the grounds of the temple. It is known internationally as a Japanese sightseeing spot with many foreign tourists also visiting the temple.

    Despite being busy with tourists this Buddhist temple can still bring a sense of calm and serenity of you can find a viewing spot and take in the presence of the enormous Buddha. The surrounding...

  • Roadside Station Hari T-R-S
    rating-image
    3.5
    87 Reviews
    Transportation
    Nara Pref. Narashi Harichou 345
    This is a Roadside Station next to the Hari Interchange in Hari-cho, Nara City on the National Route 25. As well as Italian cuisine and fast food, there are many restaurants, souvenir and local produce shops, a natural hot spring and pool, Hari Onsen Land, and Hari TRS (terrace) Berry Farm, the largest tourist farm in west Japan (reservations required) in the facility.

    The new Nara JR station was well planned for its customers with clear indication signs as well as smooth passenger flow for visitors. The train station was on upper level and was led down to the...

  • Gango-ji Temple
    rating-image
    4.0
    259 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Chuinchou 11
    A Buddhist temple located in Chuin Town, Nara City. The temple was originally constructed as the Hoko-ji Temple (Asuka-dera Temple), Japan’s oldest Buddhist temple, by Soga no Umako in the end of sixth century. The temple was later moved to its current location and given a new name with the transfer of the capital to ancient Nara. In addition to being registered as part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara World Heritage Site, the temple’s Gokuraku-do hall, Zen meditation room, and five-tier pagoda are all designated National Treasures. Special themed exhibitions of the temple’s collection of artwork and treasures are held each year in spring and autumn in the special exhibition room of the temple’s Horin-kan hall.

    This temple is just south of the old town in Nara. It is very impressive in its quiet way. The museum is quite lovely and full of ancient sculpture. May I suggest Ninety-Nine Postcards from Nara as...

  • Naramachi Koshi no Ie Residence
    rating-image
    4.5
    200 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Gangoujichou 44
    A museum which recreates the appearance of a merchant’s house in old Nara-machi, a style of living which existed from the end of the Edo through the Meiji periods. The building is also known as the “Eel Bed”) thanks to its narrow entrance and lengthwise design, which resembles an eel trap. Visitors can experience how life was lived in such houses and learn about the lives of townspeople during this time period.

    Its a free attraction, and fascinating to see how homes were once constructed--the literature was very helpful. We were actually walking between Harushika Brewery and Gango-Ji Temple in Naramachi...

  • Shinyakushi-ji Temple
    rating-image
    4.5
    210 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Takabatakechou 1352
    A Buddhist temple built by Empress Komyo in prayer for the recovery of illness of Emperor Shomu in 747. During the Nara period, the temple was one of the 10 most important in Nara and over 100 priests studied on its vast grounds. In the Heian period, however, the temple’s size was reduced due to lightning strikes and typhoons. The main temple nave looks as it did when first erected and enshrines a seated figure of Bhaisajyaguru, the temple’s main object of worship, as well as standing figures of the Twelve Divine Generals.

    This temple is approximately 1,300 years old and the main hall dates back that far. The grounds are small in comparison to its days of glory, but theres still much to see here. This neighborhood is...

  • Great South Gate
    rating-image
    4.0
    95 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Zoushichou 406-1 in the Todaiji Temple
    This is the main gate of Tōdai-ji in Nara City and has been designated as a National Treasure. The original gate was destroyed by a typhoon in 962, and the present gate was rebuilt in the Kamakura period. It is Japan’s largest temple gate reaching a height of 25.46 meters. There are 18 giant pillars up to the roof, and in the lower section of the gate, the back of the roof structure has no ceiling—so it is famous as the architectural structure which houses the Great Buddha.

    We did a daytrip to Nara. Besides Nara park with lots of deers you can also check this temple with vast gate.

  • Kohfukuji Temple
    rating-image
    4.0
    30 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Noboriojichou 48
    This is a temple located in Nara City. Yamashina-dera Temple has its origin as a temple that was established in Kyoto in 669 by the wife of Fujiwara no Kamatari. The temple was destroyed by fires many times and was rebuilt, after which it ended up similar to temple ruins during the anti-Buddhist movement in the Meiji period, although the Tokon-do Hall, the five-storied pagoda, the Hokuen-do Hall and the three-storied pagoda which survived have been designated as National Treasures. The five-storied pagoda which is illuminated at night-time has become a symbol of Nara. There are also many Buddhist images enshrined at the temple which have been designated as National Treasures and Cultural Assets such as the Ashura statue.

    Kofuku-ji Temple Chukon Hall had recently been renovated and opened for public viewing. Payment of Yen 500 entrance fee was required and you could see the beautiful statue of Buddha inside the hall...

  • Nakatanido
    rating-image
    4.0
    355 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Hashimotochou 29
    This is a yomogi mochi rice cake specialty shop located on Sanjo-dori Street in Hashimoto Town, Nara City. The yomogi mochi is made from carefully selected locally grown produce. Hot rice is pounded swiftly according to traditional methods to make the soft and springy texture of the sweet. The shop is visited by many customers who come to see the skilled combination of the craftsmen turning and pounding the rice first hand.

    I was on my way to the hotel from Nara Park when I saw this shop and a lot of people in front of it. People would buy something and then take pictures of it or in front of the store, so I had to try...

  • Akishino-dera Temple
    rating-image
    4.5
    109 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Akishinochou 757
    "A Buddhist temple located north of the Saidai-ji Temple in Akishino-cho, Nara City. The temple's principal object of worship is a statue of Bhaisajyaguru, and the main temple building, erected in the distant Kamakura period, has been designated a National Treasure. The main temple building famously enshrines Japan's only wooden statue depicting a standing Gigeiten deva. Once a year on June 6th, the temple unveils its six armed wooden statue depicting a Atavaka entwined by a serpent (this statue has been a ""hidden Buddha"" statue not normally shown to lay people since the temple was dedicated to Shingon Esoteric Buddhism), attracting large numbers of visitors. Collectors should take note that this is also the only day you can receive the temple's goshuin seal mark."

    This monastery autumn bamboo according to tradition founded in the 8th century. Very nice and quiet complex of the temple. There were a lot of tourists.

  • Ukimido
    rating-image
    4.0
    113 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Takabatakechou Kakiuchi 1170
    Ukimido is a beautiful hexagonal pavilion with thatched cypress roofing, floating at one edge of the Sagi-ike Pond in Nara Park. The pavilion was originally built in 1916 however, due to deterioration it was restored and rebuilt over a period of three years from 1991, bringing it back to its former glory. A bridge reaches out to the pavilion from the bank of Sagi-ike Pond, making it possible for visitors to walk across to Ukimido. The surrounding cherry blossom, autumn leaves, and crape myrtle are very pretty too and the place has become a well known sightseeing spot. Visitors can enjoy the fantastic views of the pavilion lit up at night.

    A pavilion in the middle of a pond. It’s a nice place to relax and very photogenic. A good place to come if you are sick of deer.

  • Himuro Shrine
    rating-image
    4.0
    136 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Nara-shi Kasuganocho 1-4
    "A 15-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station and a 60-minute drive from the Kyoto-minami Interchange. This Shinto shrine is also located right next to the ""Himurojinja-Kokuritsuhakubutsukan"" bus stop. The shrine was originally dedicated to venerating Mt. Kasuga. From around 711, the shrine gifted blocks of ice created in a cold room to the imperial capital of Hejio-kyo (now Nara). After the capital was moved to Kyoto, the shrine was abolished and then later moved to its current location and revived. Even today, the shrine is still visited by persons involved in industries concerning ice, such as ice making, refrigeration, and freezing. Each year the shrine holds the Kenpyosai ice festival on May 1st, as well as the Himoruo Shirayuki Shaved Ice Festival in March. Visitors can also view beautiful weeping cherry blossoms on the grounds from late March to early April."

    this is definitely a unique temple:the deity it honors is the ice god, which is why you may see little blocks of ice (lanterns) lining the front steps or the other pathways on the shrines grounds...

  • Saidai-ji Temple
    rating-image
    4.0
    90 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Saidaijishibamachi 1-1-5
    A Buddhist temple located in Saidaijishiba Town, Nara City, Nara Prefecture. The head temple of Shingon Risshu Buddhism, the temple’s history stretches back to the time when Empress Shotoku commissioned of statures of the Four Heavenly Kings in 765. The temple’s principal object of worship, a standing stature of Shaka Nyorai (Shakyamuni) housed in the main temple building, as well as a seated stature of Ragaraja (esoteric school deity of love) in the Aizen-do hall (not provided for public viewing) and an 11-faced standing stature of Kannon (the Goddess of Mercy) in the Shio-do hall are all designated Important Cultural Properties. The temple also possesses various other treasures, including rare Buddhist images, esoteric ritual implements, and sculptures from the Heian and Kamakura periods, a portion of which are displayed in the temple’s Shuho-kan hall.

    Saidaji is less known probably due to its size and it is a few stations away from Nara Kintetsu station. It is located less than 4 min walk from Kintetsu Yamato Saidaji Station. Visited this temple...

  • Manyo Botanical Garden (Kasugataisha shrine Garden)
    rating-image
    4.0
    68 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    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...

  • Toshodaiji Temple
    rating-image
    5.0
    2 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Gojouchou 13-46
    The head temple of the Ritsu school of Buddhism, one of the six sects of Buddhism brought to Japan during the Nara period which flourished in ancient Nara. The temple was erected in 759 by Jianzhen, a priest who traveled to Japan from Tang China. Originally the private temple of Jianzhen, it started out quite simple, but key structures such as the main temple were completed by the efforts of his disciples after his passing. The temple contains numerous designated National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties, such as a seated figure of Vairocana, the temple’s principle object of worship. A seated statue of Jianzhen, a National Treasure, is displayed only once a year from June 5 to 7, the dates surrounding the time he died.

    唐招提寺の南大門からは一番奥まった処にある鑑真上人を祀った御廟があります。これまでも何度かこのお寺に来ていますが、ここまで来たのは初めてです。雨まじりの天気の中、開山御廟に続く道の両脇には、見事な苔が広がり、一面の緑が美しく輝き、とても静かで美しいところでした。御廟の前には、上人の故郷である中国江蘇省揚州から贈られた瓊花が植えられており、その花の咲く頃また来たいと思いました。コロナウィルスの感染...

  • Naramachi Mechanical Toy Museum
    rating-image
    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...

  • Hokke-ji temple
    rating-image
    4.0
    55 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Hokkejichou 882
    Once known as the Hokke Metsuzai no Tera, the head temple of all provincial temples in Japan, this Buddhist temple is located in Hokkeji Town, Nara City, Nara Prefecture. The temple was built in 745 by Empress Komyo on the site of the former home of her father, Fujiwara no Fuhito. The main temple building, belfry, and south gate, rebuilt by Toyotomi Hideyori and Yodo-dono, are designated Important Cultural Properties. It is said that the temple’s principal object of worship, a 11-faced standing statue of Kannon designated a National Treasure, was modeled after Empress Komyo; this figure is only revealed to the public for special events in spring and autumn. Highlights include a bathhouse which hints at Empress Komyo’s interest in social welfare and a garden with beautiful rabbitear irises.

    Originally built in 745, this temple has long and important history. Not a well known tourist attraction, so its usually quiet and peaceful.

  • Nanendo Temple
    rating-image
    4.0
    57 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Noboriojichou 48
    This octagonal temple located inside the Kohfukuji Temple is designated an Important Cultural Property. As the ninth station in the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage, the temple is visited by an unending stream of worshippers. The temple was built in 813 by the noble Fujiwara no Fuyutsugu in prayer for the happiness in the next world of his father, Fujiwara no Uchimaro. The current temple was rebuilt in 1789, the fourth time the temple was rebuilt, in an old-fashioned style believed to be modeled after the Hokuendo Temple, also located inside the Kohfukuji. The two principle objects of worship enshrined inside the temple, the Seated Figure of Amoghapasa and the Standing Figures of the Four Heavenly Kings, were created by famed sculptor Kokei. The temple doors behind which these statues are hidden are only opened on October 17 each year during the Reading of the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra.

    Situated on one side of the Kofukuji Temple complex just up the flight of stairs from Sarusawa Pond, facing the awning the 5 storey Pagoda will be behind you. In the morning people ask for blessings...

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