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Nara

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Daibutsuden of the Todaiji templeDaibutsuden of the Todaiji temple
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Daibutsuden of the Todaiji temple

Nara (??) is a city in the Kansai region of Japan. See also Nara prefecture for the surrounding prefecture.

nara Travel Guide :

Nara

Understand

The first capital city of Japan, Nara is still home to many important scenic and historical sites. Overshadowed by its more famous neighbor Kyoto, Nara is omitted from many a time-pressed tourist's itinerary. However, Nara was a capital long before Kyoto, and today preserves its main sights much more attractively than Kyoto within the large Nara Park.

Nara

Get in

Nara

By plane

Nara does not have its own airport, so most visitors arrive via Kansai International Airport, or Osaka's Itami Airport.

From Kansai Airport, Airport Limousine buses run to to the two Nara train stations every hour (¥1800, 1 1/2 hours). More frequent service is available by rail: If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you can take the Haruka limited express to Tennoji station and then transfer to the Yamatoji line for the run to Nara (¥2390, no charge with rail pass). Otherwise, it's cheaper to take the Nankai Railway's K?k?-Ky?k? (????) express train to Shin-Imamiya, and then take the JR Yamatoji line from there (¥1510). Both trips take around 1 1/4 hours with good connections.

Limousine buses connect Itami Airport to the two Nara train stations for ¥1440; the ride takes about one hour.

Nara

By train

From Kyoto station, both the JR Nara Line and the private Kintetsu Kyoto line will get you to Nara quickly. The Kintetsu Nara station is better located that the JR Nara station, but unless you want to take an all-reserved Tokky? (??) train which leaves twice an hour and runs to Nara in 35 minutes, you will have to change at Yamato Saidaiji for the last hop into town. The trip will cost ¥1100 on the Tokky?; ¥610 on other trains. For Japan Rail Pass holders, JR's Miyakoji Kaisoku (??????) runs from Kyoto to Nara in as little as 41 minutes (¥690, no charge with rail pass).

The fastest route from Osaka is to take the private Kintetsu Nara Line from Namba station. Kaisoku-Ky?k? (????) trains run to Kintetsu Nara in 35 minutes (¥540). For Japan Rail Pass holders, JR runs two Yamatoji Kaisoku (?????) trains each hour from Osaka, Tennoji, and intermediate stations on the Osaka Loop Line. The run to Nara is 44 minutes from Osaka and 31 minutes from Tennoji (¥780 and ¥450 respectively, no charge with rail pass).

Nara

By bus

If you're travelling from a long distance in Japan, and don't want to pay the hefty charge for taking the Shinkansen and connecting in Kyoto or Osaka, taking an overnight bus to Nara is a cheaper option.

For example: From Tokyo, the Dream Nara overnight bus runs to Nara in 10 1/2 hours at a cost of ¥8400 one-way. The cheaper Seishun overnight service, which substitutes regular buses in place of the more spacious ones, costs only ¥5000.

Nara

Get around

Nara's public transportation system is limited to buses. The ¥100 shuttle bus provides a cheap and cheerful service from the Kintetsu train station to many points of interest in central Nara. Once within Nara Park, you can simply walk to almost all the sites.

Nara

See

Nara park , most of Nara's sights are concentrated a pleasant space of greenery, temples, shrines and famously mercenary deer. According to legend, the god of the Kasuga Taisha came riding a white deer in the old days, so people have been protecting the deer as envoys of the god.

Nara

Temples & Shrines

Yakushi Nyorai, Buddha of medicine and healing, at Todaiji Temple in NaraYakushi Nyorai, Buddha of medicine and healing, at Todaiji Temple in Nara
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Yakushi Nyorai, Buddha of medicine and healing, at Todaiji Temple in Nara

Eight of Nara's many temples and shrines are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

  • Todaiji temple and the world's largest wooden building Daibutsuden, housing one of the world's largest Buddha statues
  • Kofukuji
  • Kasuga Taisha
  • Yakushiji
  • Kasuga-yama Hill Primeval Forest
  • Gango-ji Temple
  • Toshodai-ji Temple
  • Heijo Palace
  • Ukimido. A hexagonal building built on a lake in Nara Park so that it appears to float on water.
Nara

Museums & History

  • Nara National Museum, with one of the world's best collections of Buddhist art and changing exhibitions. The National Treasure Hall has an impressive collection of statues. Entrance fee 2005 Y 500
  • Naramachi, the traditional district of town
  • Nara Century Hall, next to JR Nara station. Events, concerts, and musicals. Sometimes a flea market is held in front of the hall.
Nara

Do

  • Deer-horn Cutting Ceremony, every August. The deers have their horns cut to prevent people from being injured.
  • Mount Wakakusa Fire Festival (Wakakusa-yamayaki). On New Year, dry glass on the slopes of this mountain is set on fire by two temples.
  • Nara To-kae.
Nara

Learn

Nara

Work

Nara

Buy

Nara

Eat

Nara's best-known culinary product is shika-senbei, a type of cookie sold all around Nara Park. Don't try eating it yourself though — it's meant for the deer!

Another local speciality is Kakino hazushi, or sushi wrapped persimmon leaves, which actually originates from nearby YoshinoYoshino.

  • Sanshu (in the Isui-en Garden) is worth a visit more for the attractive old house and garden than the menu, which consists of two very traditional dishes: mugi tororo (plain rice with ground yam, ¥1200), and unagi tororo (the same with grilled eel, ¥2500). Open for lunch only, daily except Tuesday.
Nara

Drink

Yamato-cha is kind of a Japanese green tea which is very healthy and tasty.

Nara

Sleep

Nara

Contact

Nara

Stay safe

Nara

Cope

Nara

Get out

  • Horyuji, just 12 minutes away by train and then about 10 minutes by bus or taxi, is an ancient temple complex housing some of the oldest wooden buildings in the world.
Nara

External links

  • Nara City (http://www.city.nara.nara.jp/english/)



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