1. Todai-ji Temple (東大寺)
The present structure, which was rebuilt in 1709, was scaled down to 2/3 of the original size. Nevertheless, it is the largest wooden structure temple in the world. This temple is one of the main Nara attractions.
Daily 8:00am – 5:00pm
2. Sika Deer in Nara Park
According to legend, a mighty god from Kashima Shrine came to Nara riding on a white deer in the 8th century. Since then deer have been respected and protected as divine messengers. Hence there are plenty deer roaming around.
Fun part is, you can buy Shika Senbei (deer crackers) and feed them. The deer in this park are so polite that they bow to you when requesting for Shika Senbei!
3. Kofuku-ji Temple (興福寺)
Established in the 7th century, Kofukuji used to be the family temple of the most powerful Fujiwara family clan during Nara & Heian Periods. The temple consisted of over 150 buildings at the height of Fujiwara influence.
The five storey pagoda is Japan’s second tallest at 50 meters, just 7 meters shorter than the five storey pagoda at Kyoto’s Toji Temple. Kofukuji’s pagoda is both a landmark and a symbol of Nara. It was reconstructed in 1426 after it has burned down 5 times.
Daily 9:00am – 5:00pm
4. Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine (春日大社)
Established in 768 AD and rebuilt several times over the centuries, it is the shrine of the Fujiwara family. Both paths to this shrine are lined with approx 2000 stone lanterns and the eaves of the shrine itself are decorated with around 1000 hanging bronze lanterns.
Daily 6:30 am – 5:30 pm
5. Higashimuki Shopping Street (東向き商店街)
The Higashimuki Shopping Street a 250-metre-long covered shopping street is located just beside Kintetsu Nara Station. It is full of souvenir shops and a variety of restaurants.
Nara Guided Tour
Walk around the spacious Nara Park, known for its important cultural heritage (the Giant Buddha of Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine and more) and freely roaming deer and be accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide.