Nara is a city in the prefecture of the same name in south-central Japan. It’s larger than you might think, and its dense forest makes it feel even more remote. In the past, Nara was an important site for producing sacred texts. Today, it’s most famous for its resident population of wild Asian red deer (also known as ‘Sika deer’). The deer roam freely throughout Nara Park, a large green expanse covering approximately 20% of Nara City. The park has a small lake called Ikigayu Hidden Lake and many smaller ponds home to giant Japanese carp. To help you make the most out of your time in Nara, here are 5 places you must visit if you visit Nara Japan!
Todai-ji Temple is an enormous Buddhist temple complex in Nara, Japan. The complex is one of the few remaining original wooden buildings in the world and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Todai-ji is one of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting more than 2.5 million visitors annually. The temple was founded in the year 759 and is the world’s largest wooden building, with an imposing Five-Story (Go-den) Main Hall that houses a giant statue of Buddha. The temple is also known as the Daibutsu Temple (Great Buddha Temple) because of the giant statue of Amitabha Buddha in the Daibutsu Hall. The main hall and the Buddha statue are carved out of a single giant tree trunk of the ancient Japanese Cypress tree.
Nara Park is a large public park in Nara, Japan. Established in 1872, the park is home to many Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, and other attractions. The park is renowned for its population of free-roaming Sika deer (Japanese deer). Park is listed as one of the Top 3 Parks in Japan, Japan’s Top 5 places to see Cherry Blossoms. And is listed as one of Japan’s Top 3 Autumn Leaves Spots.
Naramori Shrine sits on the outskirts of Nara Park, near Horyu-ji Temple. This Shinto shrine has a history that dates back to the 8th century when an ancient Emperor offered prayers at this shrine after suffering an illness. This Shrine is particularly busy in mid-February when the Lunar New Year is celebrated in Japan. The grounds around Naramori Shrine are particularly beautiful during the Autumn Leaves Season. Horyu-ji Temple is a World Heritage Site that was established in the year 607. It is the world’s first wooden structure registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Temple was built by Prince Shotoku, who is often referred to as the “Father of Japanese Buddhism”.
The Nara Daibutsu is a giant Buddha statue that sits inside the Great Buddha Temple in Nara, Japan. The Daibutsu was built in the year 852. It is listed as one of the Top 10 Tallest Statues in Japan and one of the Top 10 Biggest Buddha Statues in Japan.
Kasuga Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Nara, Japan. The Shrine was established in 799 and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kasuga Shrine is particularly famous for its beautiful ‘Garden of the Mist’, a picturesque outdoor garden illuminated by a magnificent display of over 10,000 paper lanterns during the Autumn Leaves Season. The Kasuga Shrine is listed as one of the Top 3 Gardens in Japan.
The Nara Prefecture is a wonderful place to visit, filled with culture and history. If you are planning a trip to Japan and are looking for places to visit, consider Nara. These are just a few of the best places to see in Nara, but there are many more. Hopefully, these suggestions will help you plan your trip. If you plan a trip to Nara, include these top places. Now is the time to book your trip! You won’t regret it!