NARA ATTRACTIONS

Nara Attractions - As a former capital of Japan, Nara has many great attractions including many World Heritage Sites. Many other Nara attractions are focused in or around Nara Park including temples, shrines, museums and gardens.

We have detailed most of the best Nara attractions in the table below. You can see all of these Nara attractions on our Nara Map. Nara's World Heritage Sites are highlighted with a yellow background.

Nara - Three Story Pagoda Hokkiji Temple

Nara - Three Story Pagoda Hokkiji Temple

JAPAN MAP - NARA



NARA ATTRACTIONS

Nara attractions marked with a yellow highlight are World Heritage Sites.

NARA PREFECTURES

Nara Prefecture

Nara Prefecture
Nara Prefecture is in Kansai region on the main island of Honshu. The capital of Nara Prefecture is the former capital of Japan, Nara city. Nara Prefecture attractions include 15 World Herit...

NARA PREFECTURE CAPITAL

Nara

Nara
Nara is in Kansai region on the main island of Honshu. Nara, the capital of Nara Prefecture, is a former capital of Japan and features many great monuments from that period with ten World He...

NARA MAIN CITIES and TOWNS

Asuka
Asuka is a town in Nara Prefecture, which includes the ruins of the former Imperial capital of Japan; Asuka (written differently in Japanese to modern town). Asuka the Imperial capital bet...

Kashihara
Kashihara is a city in Nara Prefecture, Japan. Kashihara is the second largest city in Nara Prefecture. Kashihara attractions include Kashihara Shrine. The modern city of Kashihara includes ...

Sakurai
Sakurai is a city in Nara Prefecture, Japan. Sakurai attractions include Omiwa Shrine, considered to be one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan and dedicated to the god of sake, Tanzan Shr...

Tenri
Tenri is a city in Nara Prefecture, Japan. The name Tenri is derived from the religious movement; Tenrikyo, that has it headquarters in the city. In addition to the Tenri (religious) Headqua...

Yamatotakada
Yamatotakada is a city in Nara Prefecture, Japan. The city of Yamatotakada includes some archaeologically significant sites which date back to the Paleolithic age and some burial mounds (kof...

Yoshino
Yoshino, in Nara Precture, is famous for the best cherry blossom in Japan. Mount Yoshino features around 30,000 cherry blossom trees. Yoshino is also the location of four World Heritage Site...

NARA CASTLES

Koriyama Castle
Koriyama Castle (also known as Yamato Koriyama Castle) is a mountain top style Japanese Castle which was completed in 1580. Koriyama Castle is Yamatokoriyama in Nara Prefecture. Today only s...

Shigisan Castle
Shigisan Castle was a mountain top style Japanese Castle on the summit of Mount Shigi in Nara Prefecture. Shigisan Castle was completed in 1536 and further expanded in 1559 to include a four...

NARA LANDMARKS

Fujiwara-kyo
Fujiwara-kyo was the Imperial capital of Japan for sixteen years between 694 and 710. Today only a few ruins of Fujiwara-kyo remain, which are within what today is the city of Kashihara in N...

Heijo Palace

Heijo Palace
Heijo Palace was the former Imperial Palace during the Nara Period, when Nara was the capital of Japan. Today little remains above the ground of the original buildings and there is now a rec...

Heijo-kyo
Heijo-kyo, also known as Nara no miyako, was the capital city of Japan during most of the Nara period (710-740 and 745-784). Heijo-kyo was focused around the World Heritage Site of Heijo Pal...

Nara Prefectural Government Office

Nara Prefectural Government Office
Nara Prefectural Government Office is the administration building for the Prefecture of Nara ....

Nara-ken New Public Hall

Nara-ken New Public Hall
Nara-ken New Public Hall is in Nara Park and was constructed in 1987 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Nara Prefecture. Nara-ken New Public Hall features a Noh theat...

NARA TEMPLES

Enjo-ji Temple
Enjo-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect in north eastern Nara. Enjo-ji Temple is believed to have been established in 756AD. The two oldest structures at Enjo-ji Temple, whic...

Gangoji Temple

Gangoji Temple
Gangoji Temple is a Buddhist temple was established in 588 as part of Asuka-dera. In 718 it was moved to Nara and became one of the Seven Great Temples of Nara. Gangoji Temple is a UNESCO Wo...

Hokke-do Hall

Hokke-do Hall
Hokke-do Hall is part of the Nigatsudo sub temple complex which is within the Todaiji Temple complex. Hokke-do Hall (Lotus Hall) is significant because it is the oldest structure in Todaiji ...

Hokkiji Temple

Hokkiji Temple
Hokkiji Temple is a Buddhist temple in Okamoto, Nara Prefecture. Hokkiji Temple features the oldest three story pagoda in Japan and is one of the Seven Great Temples of Nara. Hokkiji Temple ...

Horin-ji Temple

Horin-ji Temple
Horin-ji Temple, also known as Miidara Temple, is a Buddhist temple in Nara only 1km from Hokkiji Temple. Horin-ji Temple was established in the 7th century, however none of the buildings da...

Horyuji Temple

Horyuji Temple
Horyuji Temple is a Buddhist temple in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture. Horyuji Temple's pagoda is considered to be one of the world's oldest surviving wooden building which started construction in...

Kimpusenji Temple
Kimpusenji Temple is a Buddhist temple, and is the head temple for the Shugendo Buddhist sect in the Yoshino District of Nara Prefecture. Kimpusenji Temple is believed to have been establish...

Kofukuji - Hoku-endo Temple

Kofukuji - Hoku-endo Temple
Hoku-endo Temple is the Northern Octagonal Hall which was completed in 721 at the request of Empress Genmeiand to mark the first year since the death of Fujiwara Fuhito. The current building...

Kofukuji Temple

Kofukuji Temple
Kofukuji Temple is a Buddhist temple in Nara. Kofukuji Temple is a large temple complex featuring two pagodas plus many National Tresures and Important Cultural Properties. Kofukuji Temple i...

Kofukuji Temple - Five Storied Pagoda

Kofukuji Temple - Five Storied Pagoda
Gojyu-no-to (Five Storied Pagoda) of Kofukuji Temple was completed in 725 at the request of Empress Komyo. The current building is a restoration which was completed in 1426. At 50.1m high it...

Kofukuji Temple - Nan

Kofukuji Temple - Nan' endo Hall
Nan'endo Hall is the Southern Octagonal Hall of Kofukuji Temple and is the nineth temple on the West Japan Thirty Three Temple Pilgrimage Route. The original hall was completed in 813 at the...

Kofukuji Temple - Three Storied Pagoda
Sanjyu-no-to is the Three Story Pagoda of Kofukuji Temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara" listing....

Nigatsudo Temple

Nigatsudo Temple
Nigatsudo Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is part of a sub temple complex which is within the Todaiji Temple complex. Nigatsudo Temple is to the east of the Great Buddha Hall on the side ...

Ominesanji Temple
Ominesanji Temple is an important Buddhist temple for the Shugendo Buddhist sect. Ominesanji Temple is on the top of Mount Omine in the Yoshino District of Nara Prefecture. Ominesanji Temple...

Saidaiji Temple

Saidaiji Temple
Saidaiji Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect which is in Nara. Saidaiji Temple means Great Western Temple as it is to the west of its counterpart Todaiji Temple. Saidaiji Temple ...

Todaiji Temple

Todaiji Temple
Todaiji Temple is a Buddhist temple in Nara, which is famous for being the world's largest wooden building, which houses Japan's largest statue of Buddha. Todaiji Temple is a UNESCO World He...

Todaiji Temple - Nandaimon Gate

Todaiji Temple - Nandaimon Gate
Nandaimon Gate is the Great Southern Gate for Todaiji Temple. Nandaimon Gate is around 400m south of the main Todaiji Temple and today almost appears to be a separate structure by itself. Na...

Toshodaiji Temple

Toshodaiji Temple
Toshodaiji Temple is a Buddhist temple in Nara, that is the head temple in Japan of the Ritsu-shi sect of Buddhism. Toshodaiji Temple has many buildings dating back to 759 that are National ...

Yakushiji Temple

Yakushiji Temple
Yakushiji Temple is one of the most famous imperial and ancient Buddhist temples in Japan, in Nara. Yakushiji Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms part of the "Historic Monuments...

Yata-dara Temple

Yata-dara Temple
Yata-dara Temple is a Buddhist temple, also know as Yatasan- Kongosenji Temple is famous for its hillside gardens full of hydrangeas. Yata-dara Temple is in Nara....

NARA SHRINES

Himurojinja Shrine

Himurojinja Shrine
Himurojinja Shrine is opposite Nara Park and is dedicated to the God of ice. During its Ice Dedication Festival, in May each year, a pole of ice which is packed with carp and breams is prese...

Kasuga Taisha Shrine

Kasuga Taisha Shrine
Kasuga Taisha Shrine is the head shrine for around 3,000 Kasuga Shrines throughout Japan and is within Nara Park, Nara. Kasuga Taisha Shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms part of...

Kimpu Shrine
Kimpu Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in the Yoshino District of Nara Prefecture. Kimpu Shrine was established in the 10th century. Kimpu Shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms part of t...

Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine

Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine is the first branch of Usa Hachimangu Shrine (Usa-shi, Oita-ken), which was established in 749AD in order to protect Todaiji Temple. Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine...

Wakamiya Shrine

Wakamiya Shrine
Wakamiya Shrine is a Subordinate shrine of Kasuga Taisha Shrine and a complex of 12 small shrines. Wakamiya Shrine was established in 1135. The Main Hall, Oratory, Kaguraden (music hall) and...

Yoshimizu Shrine
Yoshimizu Shrine is a Shinto Shrine on the top of Mount Yoshino in the Yoshino District of Nara Prefecture. Yoshimizu Shrine is dedicated to Emperor Go-Daigo and samurai Kusunoki Masashige. ...

Yoshino Mikumari Shrine
Yoshino Mikumari Shrine is a Shinto Shrine on the top of Mount Yoshino in the Yoshino District of Nara Prefecture. Yoshino Mikumari Shrine was established around 806AD and dedicated to mikum...

NARA MUSEUMS and ART GALLERIES

Kofukuji Temple Museum

Kofukuji Temple Museum
Kofukuji Temple Museum is within the Kofukuji Temple complex and is formally known as the Kofukuji Temple National Treasure Museum. Completed in 1959 it houses National Tresures and Importan...

Nara National Museum

Nara National Museum
Nara National Museum houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art including paintings, sculpture and altar articles. Many of the items on display are on loan to the museum from Buddhist te...

NARA GARDENS and PARKS

Daijoin Temple Garden

Daijoin Temple Garden
Former Daijoin Temple Garden in Nara is a garden where Daijoin Temple once stood. The garden was designed by Zen-ami in the mid Muromachi Period (1336 - 1568). In 1958 the site was designate...

Isuien Garden

Isuien Garden
Isuien Garden is the only walking style garden in Nara. Isuien Garden is actually two Japanese gardens that were joined together to form one larger garden. Isuien Garden dates back to the Me...

Kasugayama Primeval Forest
Kasugayama Primeval Forest is on the hills to the east of Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Listing of "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara"....

Nara Park

Nara Park
Nara Park is a large public park (660 ha) and is a major focus of the famous sites of Nara including several sites that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Listing of "Historic Monuments of An...

Yoshikien Garden

Yoshikien Garden
Yoshikien Garden is a beautiful traditional Japanese garden which features a tea house, a Pond Garden, Moss Garden and a Tea Ceremony Flower Garden. Yoshikien Garden is in Nara, near Nara Pa...

NARA TOURIST INFORMATION CENTERS

Tourist Information Center

Tourist Information Center
This Tourist Information Center is conveniently next to Nara Station JR and provides a good range of printed information on attractions of Nara. This Tourist Information Center is housed in ...

NARA MOUNTAINS

Mount Yoshino
Mount Yoshino, in Nara Prefecture, is famous for the best cherry blossom in Japan. Mount Yoshino features around 30,000 cherry blossom trees which blossom over an extended period and is incl...

NARA TRAIN STATIONS

Nara Station JR

Nara Station JR
Nara Station JR is the main Japan Rail Station for Nara. Nara Station JR has five lines including the: Yamatoji Line which connects to Osaka Station JR and Namba Station JR. Nara Line with c...

NARA SHOPPING

Don Quijote Nara
Don Quijote is a chain of discount stores selling a wide range of products including groceries, electronics and clothing. This store is in Nara....

Nara - Kasuga Taisha Shrine

Nara - Kasuga Taisha Shrine

Author: Craig Fryer

Nara

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