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Todaiji Temple, Nara

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Nara Excursion

Like nearby Kyoto, Nara was once the Japanese capital and a source of enormous cultural and religious outpourings. Unlike its more celebrated neighbor, however, Nara has survived relatively untouched by modern advances and remains a relaxed town dotted with temples, shrines and parkland.

Nara Excursion, Japan

Like nearby Kyoto, Nara was once the Japanese capital and a source of enormous cultural and religious outpourings. Unlike its more celebrated neighbor, however, Nara has survived relatively untouched by modern advances and remains a relaxed town dotted with temples, shrines and parkland.

From the fifth and sixth centuries onwards this region was Japan's cultural heartland, and successive rulers displayed their devotion to the recently introduced Buddhist faith by building splendid temples and commissioning grand works of art. Many of these remain today, including the most famous, Todai-ji Temple, home to the great bronze Buddha housed in Japan's largest wooden structure.

Also worthy of a visit are the Kofuku-ji and Horyu-ji temples nearby. The parkland at the eastern end of town boasts the greatest number of these temples and is a pleasant area to stroll at leisure.

Nara is also home to several tame deer roaming through the park area. You are able to buy food for them at various kiosks. The deer can be quite frisky and will try to nibble items of clothing, but are generally friendly.

Nara is only a short 45 minute train-ride from Kyoto, and makes for a pleasant day trip or overnight stay if time allows.

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Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Japan specialists at 1-855-834-8210

Alternative places to stay nearby

Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

Experiences while staying here

The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.