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A short train ride from Kyoto is historic Nara, an earlier capital.

While Kyoto’s continuing eminence over the centuries has led to its development into a large, bustling city, the significance of Nara soon waned once the capital was relocated, and today it remains a relaxed town with some beautiful sights.

Exploring Nara

NaraNara residents are rightly proud of Todai-ji Temple, which houses Japan’s largest bronze Buddha, as well as the tranquil expanses of the surrounding deer park where the sacred deer are so little afraid of humans that they will eat food out of your hand. Nara can easily be visited as a day trip from Kyoto or as an overnight stay for those with more time.

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who's been there
Audley Travel specialist James

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Nara by contacting one of our Japan specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Nara

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Nara, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Nara

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Nara

    Our expert guides to exploring Nara

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Nara, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Nara at its best.

    • Gardens of Japan
      Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa

      Gardens of Japan

      Gardens of Japan

      From Kenrokuen’s venerated views to gardens hidden deep in the countryside, specialist Amanda recommends her preferred gardens to visit in Japan. She also explains what makes Japan’s gardens so interesting and why gardening is an important national art form.

      8 min read

      Read this guide