This was my absolute favourite place in Japan. Nara is beautiful, it’s not crazy busy like the big cities and deer roam freely everywhere! The attractions here are in close proximity to each other and can easily be done in a day however if you can spare it, spend the night to really take in this gorgeous place. Here’s what we did…
Until 1998 this was the largest wooden structure in the world, it’s listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s famous for housing Japan’s largest Buddha statue, also known as the Daibutsu (Great Buddha). The Daibutsu is made of mostly bronze, weighs about 250 tonnes and is 15m tall! Deer, said to be messengers from god in the Shinto religion wander through the temple grounds!
Kasuga Taisha Shrine
This Shrine is spectacular, there are some 2000 stone lanterns lined along the forest path up to the shrine. On the eaves hang approximately 1000 bronze lanterns -The lanterns are a symbol of illumination, a guiding light that will lead you away from the darkness. Each lantern inside has been donated by Japanese individuals to show their support for the shrine and is inscribed with its donators name.
Nara Koen (Park)
Extending from downtown to the base of the hills is Nara Koen. What makes this park special and unique are the deer! These little creatures are absolutely gorgeous, accordingly to Shinto legend a mighty god came down to earth riding one and since then the deer have been protected and respected by the Japanese. They are generally pretty friendly and will let you pat them, you’re able to buy Shika Senbei (deer crackers) and feed them, they will come right up to you and eat out of your hand! (They will stalk you a little once they know you have the crackers on you!) If you bow to them, they will bow back, so cute!
Higashimuki Shopping Street
Located right next to the Kintetsu Nara Station, this 250m covered shopping street is loaded with souvenir shops and eateries.
Nara is an impressive town and you’ll be blown away by its history, tranquillity and peacefulness…Nara is a must do if you’re travelling to Japan!
Happy Travels, Priti x