A day trip to Nara | Ultimate Guide
nara deer

A day trip to Nara | Ultimate Guide

A day trip to Nara from Osaka

Everyone I know who has been to Japan, has visited Nara. Most, if not all have videos of feed the bowing deers and being chased as well. So I knew this was some where I definitely needed to visit. To my surprise there is a lot more to do here apart from the park, so here are my Top 5 places you should visit in Nara. 

Getting to Nara – Osaka to Nara

Whilst staying in Osaka we took a day trip our to Nara which is really common and something I’d recommend. Its is really easy to do.

By taking the Kintetsu-Nara Line Rapid-Express, this takes you straight from Kintetsu-Nippombashi to >>  Kintetsu-Nara Station. This ride takes roughly 36 minutes, 7 stops and only cost JP¥570. 

Genkishin Ramen

Before fully exploring Nara, try make a brunch stop at Genkishin. Genkishin, is a cosy ramen restuarant we found on our route to the park.

Order one of their signature a bowl of ramen with some gyroza. They have alot of different options but I really loved the this. The broth is full of flavour and the brisket just falls apart in your mouth. 

1. Kofuku-ji temple

The Kofuku-ji Temple is a Buddhist template that sits at the entrance of Nara Park. This is one of many UNESCO world heritage site in Nara.

Here you can see the Temple’s 5 story pagoda and the northern and southern Octagonal Halls. 

Kofuku-ji 5 Story Temple
Octagonal Hall

2. Nara Park

Nara Park is famous for the wild and polite bowing deers. There are over 1000s sika deers here so you’re bound to see them roaming around in the open spaces of the park and temples near by.

You can also find a stall that sells crackers for feeding the deer. In one pack there are about 10 crackers for JP¥200. That being said we actually found it a little difficult finding the stall.

The deers are used to being around people so you can pet them but just be wary that they can be aggressive. We had a few chasing us down for crackers. 

FYI – We went during mating seasons so there were warnings about the deers being aggressive. o_O We also managed to hear the dear mating call which sounded like cows mooing. 

Aside from the deers – the park is massive and there are alot of beautiful little spots you can discover. For example you can visit the Kasugataisha Manyo Botanical Gardens

Deer relaxing
Deer Crackers
nara

3. Kasuga Taisha

15min walk further into Nara Park. You’ll pass rows of stone laterns, walk through the giant Kasuga Taisha Torii Gate and then you’ll swiftly arrive to Kasuga Taisha. Another one of Nara’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
 
This is a beautiful, vibrantly coloured temple that sits on top of a slight hill . This places one of the most beautiful interior and is home to hundreds and thousands of lanterns, inside and outside of the temple. 
 
The lanterns are lit up during the Mandoro festival which happen twice a year in February and August. I’d love to visit during the festival one day. 
 
Mitarashi River
The grand Kasuga Taisha Torii Gate

4. Higashimuki Shopping Street

Going to and from Kintetsu-Nara Station to Nara Park you’re bound to walk through the Higashimuki Shopping Street. 

This is another shopping arcade with a lot of shops and restaurants you can visit. We notice there were a lot of deer themed goodies. 

Have more time in Nara? 

5. Todai-Ji

If you have more time, then definitely visit the Todai-Ji  Buddhist temple. This temple sits more to the northern region of Nara Park and is another one of Nara UNESCO World Heritage Site! 

The temple is also known as the Great Buddha Hall which holds one of Japan’s largest Buddhist Statue.  

I hope you enjoyed this post, if you want to check out any other of the Japan post feel free to explore. 

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