/, Japan, Travel, Travel Tips/5 Reasons Nara, Japan is a Must See!

While Nara is a smaller Japanese city it shouldn’t be missed, here’s why:

1. Nara is easy to access.

Gates at Kasuga Taisha Shrine.

Gates at Kasuga Taisha Shrine.

Chances are if you’re headed to Japan Osaka and/or Kyoto are on your travel destination list. Nara is easily accessible from both of these locations. The Kintetsu trains are the fastest option taking about 30 minutes or less and they are also covered by the Kansai Thru Pass. The JR trains are only about 10-15 minutes slower and are covered by the JR pass. While I personally recommend spending more than one day in Nara, it is possible to do just a day trip!

Tip: If you do plan to spend the night I highly recommend the hostel Guesthouse Nara Komachi as a cheap but lovely location.

2. Nara is a great escape from the city.

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  Probably one of my favorite pictures from my trip. Huge beautiful trees and cute deer.


 Probably one of my favorite pictures from my trip. Huge beautiful trees and cute deer.

If you’re planning to cover a lot of ground you’re most likely going to stick to the major cities, but sometimes it’s really nice to see a smaller city or escape out into the beautiful nature of Japan. Nara is close enough to the cities to be easy to get to but it’s far enough away that you can escape the busy city streets of Osaka and enjoy the peace and relaxation only a walk through a forest can give.
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Pathway leading up to Kasuga Taisha Shrine

Pathway leading up to Kasuga Taisha Shrine

3. Nara is a good place to learn and experience Japanese history and culture.

 Lanterns at the Kasuga Taisha Shrine

 Lanterns at the Kasuga Taisha Shrine


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Nara was historically Japan’s first permanent capital, and it also currently houses eight world UNESCO heritage sites. There are temples, gardens, and museums that all have historical significance. Nara also has a decent shopping area, located right next to the Kintetsu train station, that has souvenirs as well as local shops and plenty of wonderful food. If you’re lucky, you may catch the theatrics of the men putting on a show as they make green tea mochi on Sanjodori st.

 

 4.  Nara has a wealth of National Treasures.

 Kohfukji Temple in the rain. Forgive the waterdroplet on the camera lens ;)


Kohfukji Temple in the rain. Forgive the waterdroplet on the camera lens 😉

Among the amazing temples there are many museums sprinkled throughout Nara. Most notable is the Nara National Museum which houses. Other notable museums include the Kohfukuji National Treature Hall, located at the Kohfukuji Temple, and the Prefectural Museum of Art which is free for tourists if you show your passport!

 5. Cute Deers Galore!

Daw! Baby Deer. <3

Daw! Baby Deer. <3[/caption] ​​  Daw! Baby Deer. <3 The final, and my personal favorite, reason to visit Nara is the large amount of deer that roam the area. Deer in Nara were at one time considered sacred, there was even a law against killing them! While this is no longer the case, Nara is still filled with an estimated 1,500 +  mostly friendly deer. Not only is it fun to buy deer crackers and feed them but there is fun to be had while watching other people be chased as they try to feed them. While Nara Park is the best place to find the deer crackers and herds of fat deer waiting to be fed I recommend heading up the path through the wooded area to Kasuga Taisha Shrine. The deer in this area are much more timid and you get the experience of feeding deer that act more cautious and wild then the aggressive herds that will chase you down by the cracker stand. Also another word of caution: watch your maps, pamphlets and anything else you may have in your pockets when around the deer close to the temples. If they are hungry enough they’ll snatch those and eat them. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way! [caption id="attachment_490" align="aligncenter" width="676"] Daibutsuden in the snow.  Daibutsuden in the snow.


           

Overall with its ease of access, great historical value and wonderful connection to nature a visit to Nara should be included on your trip.

In the forest of Kasuga Taisha Shrine.

In the forest of Kasuga Taisha Shrine.

By | 2017-04-17T05:40:40+00:00 April 27th, 2015|Asia, Japan, Travel, Travel Tips|0 Comments

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