The sole reason for Nara being on my list is The Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara. Nara has also been the ancient capital of Japan and home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Though Nara is not so famous among the travelers, it has got great tourist spots which can be explored within a day or two.
Where to stay?
Regarding accommodation, we preferred staying at Oak Hostel Nara, 15 minutes away from Nara Station, quite comfortable and surrounded by excellent cafes, restaurants, and even tourist shops!
8 UNESCO world heritage sites
Since most of the attractions including 5 of the 8 UNESCO heritages are at walking distances from Nara Park, the best first thing to do is to reach Nara Park. To get around Nara, you can either take a bus or the train. Nara Park is free of charge and is open 24/7. You can explore Kofukuji Temple, the Gangoji Temple, which is believed to be the first Buddhist temple in Japan founded in the 6th century and also Namarachi Traditional Townhouses where you can stroll along Naramachi fringed by old merchant houses that are now transformed as shops and cafes. We explored the most impressive collection of Japanese Buddhist at the Nara National Museum, which is also in walking distance of Nara Park. Next, we walked to the Kasuga Taisha Shrine, which is a lovely location for IG clicks! The outer temple is free. Due to limited time, we had to rush for lunch nearby and headed to Todaiji Temple, taking pride in housing the world’s most massive bronze Buddha statue.
Behind the Shrine, is the Kasugayama Primeval Forest, located on a grassy hill, offering a scenic view of the Nara City. All sites have an entrance fee and different open timings.
The best places to eat in the city Nino, Magura Koya, Parco and Mellow.