Nara is today a quiet sleepy little town, two hours from Kyoto by train, but it was previously a famous imperial capital (VII century), even before Kyoto. Small town in the Kansai region, on the Honshu island, 42kms south from Kyoto, Nara (365 000 inhabitants only) deserves to be visited if you are in the region
Nara, old imperial capital
We spend some times in Nara, well know for its amazing traditional architecture, but also all the deers who walk around the old city freely. Indeed they are considered more or less as holy and can go wherever they want. They are very used to human beings and are not reluctant to get some hugs from you 🙂 Of course it is also a good marketing image for the small town which needs to exist on the shadow of its big sister Kyoto, not far from Nara. The deers will make children and their parents very happy, a free zoo in the city itself and definitely a good tool to promote the venerable city!
A very touristic town
Located in the golden triangle of Japan, between Osaka and Kyoto, not far from Kobe and the Japonese Alps on the other side, lots of visitors are coming here, just a train from Kyoto and here you are! Moreover, it is also good to go a bit to the Japanese countryside, after some time in Tokyo 🙂
Deers everywhere in town!
It was also the opportunity to taste a delicious okonomiyaki, one of the specialties in Nara (as strange as it can be, they are not so easy to find in Japan). These home made crepes are to be put on heating plates and you can add some other food if you want.
A wooden unique architecture
Of course many sites and monuments to visit such as Todai-ji temple. It is one of the biggest wooden building with a giant buddha inside who seems to look after us. Even today, it is worshiped by the local people.
Very impressive giant buddha in Nara
This day trip (or 2 days is even better) from Kyoto is very convenient and easy to do and the city with iconic old monuments (Todai-Ji, Gango-Ji, Kasuga-Taisha…) is not missed to complete the cultural discoveries you had in Kyoto. Thus, A lovely escape to a natural and bucolic environment where it is possible to admire some of the most conserved monuments of the Japanese middle-age, with a friendly family atmosphere.