Nara is an easy day trip from Kyoto and was Japan’s first capital in 720. Due to its past it is full of historic temples,¬†pagodas and gardens. Deer which are sacred and thought to be messengers for the gods freely roam the grounds- and are protected by law. No herbaceous borders anywhere to be seen.

Especially worth a look is the Great Budda Hall which is the largest wooden building in the world and houses the worlds largest bronze statue of Budda Vairocana.

The below timber gates are more than 800 years old.

How to visit

Below is a map showing the location of Nara, it’s quite a small city and easily navigated on foot.

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Nara by train: Miyakoji rapid trains (kaisoku) operate every 30 minutes between Kyoto Station and JR Nara Station. The one way trip takes 45 minutes and costs 690 Yen. The Japan Rail Pass is valid on these trains.