If you’re in this area of Japan, then Nara makes a perfect little day trip. It is home to some of Japan’s oldest temples (seeing as though it was Japan’s first main capital), gorgeous parks and lots of opportunities to interact with deer, which I feel is reason enough to visit anywhere. I spent less than a day here exploring, and I wouldn’t suggest that you need any more time dedicated to it. It’s beautiful and culture-rich, but it’s also pretty doable in a day.

Getting here

Nara is well connected by train and the nearest major cities are Kyoto and Osaka. From either of these places it makes an excellent day trip.

Getting around
Use your legs

What to do

Rather than writing you a long list of temples and things to see, I feel that this place is in fact one to wander with little aim. Picture a day out at the park, except this time you’re feeding the deer instead of the ducks and you’re looking at beautiful, old, Japanese temples rather than… well, whatever one might normally see at a park. The one thing I will say is do not miss Tōdai-ji, which is the star attraction in this beautiful area. It essentially translates to Great Buddha and is housed in the largest wooden structure in the world – Daibutsu-den. As for the rest of your day, spend it meandering through parks and taking selfies with deer and just generally absorbing the beautiful Japanese culture and architecture – there is definitely no shortage of it in Nara.


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