Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara

The area surrounding Nara Park is a World Heritage Site registered as the Cultural Property of the ancient Japanese capital of Nara. This area beautifully preserves the delicate harmony of the traditional wooden temple architectural style of the Nara period, found in places such as Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine and the Kasugayama Primeval Forest, with its natural surroundings within the mountains and other forests of the region. Traditional annual events and ceremonies are also carried on to this day through its deep-rooted spiritual association with Japanese Shinto and Buddhism.

Nara Park

Stretching over an enormous 660 hectares, Nara Park encompasses Todaiji Temple, Kofukuji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine, all places that hold the precious historical and cultural legacy of Japan. The wild deer that live in the park are also designated as a National Protected Species.

Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine

This ancient shrine, established at the foot of the sacred Mt. Kasuga and Mt. Mikasa to pray for the prosperity and happiness of the nation, is home to 13 National Treasures, including the four buildings of the main shrine built in the ancient 1,300 year-old Kasuga-zukuri architectural style, and ancient Koshinpo treasures. The shrine is carefully restored every 20 years in a Shikinen Zoutai ceremony.

Yakushiji Temple

This temple was built at Fujiwara-kyo palace in the year 697 by Emperor Tenmu to pray for the recovery of the Empress from illness. With the transfer of the ancient capital to Nara in 710, the temple was also moved to its current location in 718. It possesses nine National Treasures including the Yakushi Nyorai (Buddha of Medicine) and Sho Kannon (Avalokiteshvara) statues and three-storied pagoda with pent roofing that remains from the temple's founding.

Former Site of Heijokyu Imperial Palace

The ancient ruins of the Former Site of Heijokyu Imperial Palace are located on the northern edge of the center of ancient Nara, a city which once flourished as the capital for over 70 years from 710. The Council Hall in the Imperial Palace, where Japan's politics and ceremonies were carried out, was painstakingly restored in 2010.
It was also designated as a Special Historic Site in 1952, as well as being the first example of an archaeological site being registered as a World Heritage Site in Japan.

INSIDER TIPS

Deer snacks

Enjoy feeding the wild deer with the readily available Shika Senbei crackers, but be careful with small children. While not aggressive by nature, the deer will stop at nothing to get a nibble of any unprotected snacks.

SEASONAL ATTRACTIONS

  • SPRING

    Emperor Shomu Festival

    The Great Buddha Hall at Todaiji Temple

  • SUMMER

    Nara Tokae Festival

    Nara Park

  • FALL

    Shosoin Repository Exhibit

    Nara National Museum

  • WINTER

    Burning of Mt.Wakakusa

    Mt. Wakakusa, Nara Park

ACCESS

  • Train or Subway
  • Boat or Ferry
  • Walk
  • Car or Taxi
  • Bus

From Kansai International Airport

1 hr 20 minor 1 hr 25 minor 1 hr 20 min

From JR Osaka Station

50 min40 min

From JR Nara Station

  • 1.Nara Park

    10 minor 30 min

  • 2.Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine

    10 minor 20 min

  • 3.Yakushiji Temple

    15 minor 15 min> Kintetsu Nara Sta. > 10 min> Nishinokyo Sta. > 5 min

  • 4.Former Site of Heijokyu Imperial Palace

    10 minor 40 min

※Travel times are provided as a guide only. Actual travel times may differ.

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