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I’ve been traveling around the world for 20 years and most of my trips were to Asia. I think I have been crazy about Japan since I was a child and I will be happy to share this passion with you…
Only 28 km from Osaka and 35 km from Kyoto, Nara city is the capital of Nara prefecture and a part of the Kansai region famous for its priceless historical heritage. It is a living treasury, full of World Heritage sites, temples and shrines.
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Since 2015, our site has been offering expert travel itinerary planning services that result in a comprehensive, user-friendly PDF guidebook personalized to each client’s unique needs and preferences, featuring daily summaries, attraction recommendations, dining suggestions, maps, a curated database of tested accommodations worldwide, as well as detailed guidance on car rental options and ongoing support via phone and Whatsapp.
Our personalized routes from A to Z include many unique and little-known places, along with detailed information such as parking addresses, tips, and exact directions, making the trip more exciting and enjoyable while saving travelers time during preparation and on their journey.
Natural Beauties and Lakes
open 24 hours
from 9 am to 4:30 pm
Kasugayama Primeval Forest
to be checked
Manyo Botanical Garden
from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm
Yakushiji Temple & Oike Pond
from 8:30 am to 5 pm
Kasuga Taisha Shrine
from 6 am to 6 pm
Attractions For Kids
Ikoma Sanjo Amusement Park
2312-1 Nabatacho, Ikoma
Nara Kenko Land
600-1 Kabatacho, Tenri
NARAMACHI-KARAKURI Toy Museum
from 9 am to 5 pm
Nara National Museum
from 9:30 am to 5 pm
Isuien Garden and Neiraku
from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Closed on Tuesday
Kōfuku-ji Buddhist complex
Kehayaza Sumo Museum
83-1 Taima, Katsuragi
from 10 am to 5 pm
A day trip to Nara
Purpose: visiting top sights
Purpose: visiting top sights & hidden “gems”
Nara is stunning and most of the visitors limit themselves to visiting the most popular attractions, however, there are places, sometimes unique, that will bring you a more sacred experience by visiting.
Abe Monju-in (Sakurai)
645 Abe, Sakurai
Todaiji Nigatsudo Temple
1-1-1 Horyuji Sannai, Ikaruga, Ikoma District
from 8 am to 4:30 pm
Ultimate sights not to be missed
If I have only half a day coming from Osaka or Kyoto as most of the tourists, I will be focused on deer feeding in Nara Park, Todai-ji Temple, Isuien Garden, Kasuga-Taisha Shrine and Naramachi street where I would definitely have a lunch or dinner before leaving.
Be careful with deer
Deer in Nara Park are generally very friendly with tourists. However, they are used to being fed, and when they are hungry, they might disturb you especially when they see something in your hands. To avoid sometimes a bit aggressive attention, keep the food hidden when you’re in the park.
Experience a unique experience
For a unique experience take a rickshaw runner to tour around the Park. They wear traditional attire and can be found waiting around the park. A rickshaw ride is a relaxing experience, especially during the hot summer months.
It is also highly recommended to try local specialties like Kakinoha-zushi and Manju.
Kura ($$ - moderate)
16 Komyoincho, Nara, 630-8371, Japan 〒630-8371 奈良県奈良市光明院町１６
It is a small and cozy izakaya with prominent food, great atmosphere, English menu and English-speaking staff.
Highly recommended experience once you are in Nara!
Edogawa Naromachi ($$ - moderate)
43 Shimomikadocho, Nara, 630-8365, Japan 〒630-8365 奈良県奈良市下御門町43
A place with truly Japanese ambience located in an old wooden house at Naramachi. It features authentic Japanese food focused on grilled eel and tempura. Fantastic food and a place that is worth your visit.
Wakakusa Curry ($$ - moderate)
Japan, 〒630-8222 Nara, Mochiidonocho, 38-1 若草カレー本舗
This is one of the best places to try Japanese curry in Nara. Large portions, absolutely delicious food, especially Double Curry with lamb & chicken and super friendly staff. Really good choice for lunch while shopping or walking.
Nara Sake Brewery Nabe なら酒蔵なべ ($$ - moderate)
34-1 Imamikadocho, Nara, 630-8374, Japan 〒630-8374 奈良県奈良市今御門町34-1
Amazing place to have an outstanding dinner. Japanese style interior, warm ambience and fantastic food. The place features oysters (fresh and cooked), seafood and many other delicious meals. Large portions, moderate prices.
Aeon Mall Kashihara
7 Chome-20-1 Magarikawacho, Kashihara, Nara 634-0837, Japan 〒634-0837 奈良県橿原市曲川町７丁目２０−1
It is a huge shopping mall very popular in Nara prefecture. Inside you will find a game center, a big food court, many famous brand stores, Starbacks, supermarket, pet goods, and many other goods and shops.
Nara Family Shopping Mall
2 Chome-4-1 Saidaiji Higashimachi, Nara, 631-0821, Japan 〒631-0821 奈良県奈良市西大寺東町２丁目４−1
It’s a big shopping center with lots of stores, food court and a rooftop deck where you can have a nice Nara city view. The Mall is a bit dated.
1 Chome-3-1 Nijoojiminami, Nara, 630-8012, Japan 〒630-8012 奈良県奈良市二条大路南１丁目３−1
It’s a shopping mall with a variety of local shops & boutiques, Japanese restaurants & game center to spend a fun time with your family.
Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten Nara Main Branch
Japan, 〒630-8221 Nara, Ganriincho, 22 鹿猿狐ビルヂング
It is a 300 years old store that features Japanese culture design products, cloth, food, cooking utensils and bath sets.
Higashimuki Shopping Street
Japan, 〒630-8215 Nara, Higashimuki Nakamachi, １５ 〒630-8215 奈良県奈良市東向中町１５
It’s a covered shopping arcade full of shops and eateries. Nice place to go shopping and have lunch.
Mochiido Centre Town
Japan, 〒630-8222 Nara, Mochiidonocho, 12番地 夢ＣＵＢＥ2Ｆ
It’s Nara's oldest shopping street located in the heart of Nara city full of small shops (old and newly opened).
Shimomikado Shopping Street
25 Shimomikadocho, Nara, 630-8365, Japan 〒630-8365 奈良県奈良市下御門町25
It is a peaceful pedestrian arcade with many unique shops and eateries. You will also find greengrocers, 100 yen stores, drug stores, kimono shops and souvenir shops.
It is a small modest roadside market where you'll find a variety of seasonal products (honey, flowers, vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc.) sourced from local farmers and producers.
Nara Central Market
957-1 Tsutsuicho, Yamatokoriyama, Nara 639-1124, Japan 〒639-1124 奈良県大和郡山市筒井町957-1
It is a bit unusual market experience, very specific, very Japanese, maybe not instagram-like, but still full of fresh seafood, fresh vegetables and fruits.
Asuka Yume no Rakuichi
225-2 Asuka, Takaichi District, Nara 634-0103, Japan 〒634-0103 奈良県高市郡明日香村飛鳥225−２
Very local Japanese market, very local experience. It’s a farmers market of fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. It is worth a visit if you want to feel like a local.
605-1 Tokiwacho, Kashihara, Nara 634-0003, Japan 〒634-0003 奈良県橿原市常盤町605-1
Well it looks more like a Big Supermarket full of great fresh food, including fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, flowers, fresh meat, etc.
Tsubaicho, Nara, 630-8343, Japan 〒630-8343 奈良県奈良市椿井町
It’s an ancient market, with not much but all unique shops. It’s warm and cozy. Make a journey to the past and take pictures.
Here you’ll find lots of traditional wooden houses, ryokans (Japanese-style inns), restaurants, cafes and shops. This is a very atmospheric and pleasant area to stay, eat, walk, take pictures, and explore Nara heritage.
Naramachi on Google map
Kasuganocho is a lovely forest area in Nara where you can stay close to nature, go hiking, explore incredible shrines and temples.
Kasuganocho on Google map
Great stay! It’s like staying at a museum with great staff & food!
A high-quality, traditional Japanese Ryokan, surrounded by Nara beautiful forest. From bathing to dining, it's a wonderful experience. Just stay there. It's an absolutely amazing experience, especially if you are tired and looking for rest. It’s a touch of nature. Stay and let me know if you don’t like it.
Exceptional service, very spacious rooms, extremely clean, with a private terrace and hot tub. Food is excellent (both for breakfast and dinner). I very highly recommend Kotonoyado Musashino.
For a couple (4 to 5-star)
Family of 4 (4 to 5-star)
* Japanese-style double room, 2 futon beds, high quality & service
** Double room with 1 large bed
*** Good meal course in a restaurant
**** Mini/Compact class, 5 seats
***** Japanese-style quadruple room, 4 futon beds, high quality & service
****** Double room with 2 single beds and 1 sofa bed
******* Toyota, Standart class, 5 seats</span>
Breakfast at the hotel
Nara Park with semi-wild deer
Lunch at Edogawa Naromachi
Naramachi Toy Museum
Walk around Naramachi
Dinner at Nara Sake Brewery Nabe
Kasuga-Taisha Buddhist complex & Meoto Daikokusha
Lunch at Fufu Nara Hotel restaurant
Kofuku-ji temple complex
Dinner at Ryokan or Nara Hotel (French restaurant with great view)
Lunch at Mizuya Chaya
Walking around Nara Park
Dinner at Kura
A few of them are as follows:
Public WC near Todaiji Temple. 16-4 Kasuganocho, Nara, 630-8208
Public WC in Nara Park. Zoshicho, Nara, 630-8211
Public WC near Park administration. 543 Shibatsujicho, Nara, 630-8247
16-2 Kasuganocho, Nara, 630-8212, Japan 〒630-8212 奈良県奈良市春日野町16-2
44 Yurugicho, Nara, 630-8283, Japan 〒630-8283 奈良県奈良市油留木町44
City areas closed for vehicles
Obviously temple areas and gardens are accessible by foot only, however there are plenty of parking lots where you can leave your car even very close to Nara Park
Shukuseokashi Pan Classes
1 Chome-8-22 Okidome, Ikaruga, Ikoma District, Nara 636-0123, Japan 〒636-0123 奈良県生駒郡斑鳩町興留１丁目８−22
Professional course lessons to teach you how to make low-sugar sweets. Cooking classes are held at a cafe. Have fun and learn more about exclusive Japanese sweets.
NARA JAPANESE COOKING
Japan, 〒630-8224 Nara, Tsunofuricho, 26 いせやビル 513 〒630-8224 奈良県奈良市角振町26 いせやビル 513
It is a cooking class on making from scratch ramen noodles and gyozas (Japanese dumplings). Chie San speaks fluent English and will teach you cooking with all her heart.
VILLAGE TO TABLE TOUR (Nara)
It is a very unique opportunity to meet local farmers, to learn about different plants, including medical ones and matcha tea, to cook with locals and stay in a village.
Umemori Sushi School Nara Campus
221 Hokkejicho, Nara, 630-8001, Japan 〒630-8001 奈良県奈良市法華寺町221
Have fun making sushi in a very local atmosphere.
When is the best time to come to Nara?
Definitely the most beautiful time to come to Nara is Autumn (October) and Spring (April, May). Traveling during these months you will see nature dressed in pink (cherry blossom blooming) or in yellow and red colors (fall).
How many days is enough for Nara?
Usually tourists take a day tour to Nara from Osaka or Kyoto, however Nara has a lot to offer. If you have time, come for 2 or even 3 days, stay in a ryokan, explore gorgeous temples and shrines, enjoy local food and celebrate the beauty of nature.
Where to stay in Nara?
I usually recommend staying in traditional Japanese wooden houses with a very authentic interior, service and atmosphere to know more about Japanese culture, having absolutely unique experience. Consider ryokan close to nature or located in Naramachi district.
What to try in Nara?
Do I need a car to get to Nara?
Well it depends on the city you come from. Actionally no, you don’t need a car due to the rich network of public transport between the main cities of Japan. Nara is easily connected with Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagoya or Kobe by trains and buses.
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