Source: Andrea Schaffer
There are many things that can be done if you go to Nara in Japan. As you will see in the following articles, it can range in many interests for different folks. See for yourself the best things you can do in Nara with our list.
1. Sample delicacies at Kakinoha Sushi Tanaka
If you want to sample Nara’s native gourmand then try the Kakinoha dish! Mackerel dish is wrapped in an exceeding persimmon leaf. Smell the delicate aroma of the mackerel on the persimmon leaf with a tiny low quantity of vinegar. This makes it a sweet sushi collaboration that you just will totally like and get pleasure from. There are several different firms that create persimmon dish, with selections like salmon.
- Store genre: Seafood and Delicious Sushi
- Phone: 0120-773-033
- Hours: 8am to 5:30pm
- Website: www.kakinohasushi.co.jp
- Open: Everyday of the year
2. Enjoy sweets at Mahoroba Daibutsu Pudding
Have a taste at Higashi Daijimonzen Yume-Kaze Hiroba Shop. This Daibutsu pudding is one of Nara’s popular sweet souvenirs. With no additives and a subtle flavor, it’s a favorite product for many people. With traditional Japanese flavors like a dish, matcha (Nara’s special green tea), Nara cherry blossom, Sakuranbo (cherry) and so on – you can have a good time selecting those you would like. Even though it’s often created in homes, there are also stores and eat-in-shops that can be found in Nara.
- Name: Mahoroba Daibutsu Pudding
- Website: www.daibutsu-purin.com
- Open: Monday to Sunday
- Store genre: Sweets, Snacks
- Hours: 8am to 6pm
3. Attend the Mount Wakakusa Mountain Burning
This magnificent event is held annually or every year in Nara. The Mountain Buring is a marvelous and well-established great event. The best theory behind the origins of this Nara event says it is done to appease the spirit of an imperial grave placed at the mountain summit. Approximately, thirty-three hectares of the entire mountain is somewhat blazing or burning. This supplies the image that the mountain is rising into the winter sky! There’s usually a fireworks show, thus, don’t let go of the chance to view and experience this superb spectacle.
4. Try the delicious Okonomiyaki
Located in the Higashimuki searching district of Nara, is the well-established okonomiyaki and Akashiyaki or simply called “Okaru”. In the neighborhood of the city, it’s known as okonomiyaki. It is quite popular, famous and draws a lot of people. Okonomiyaki is a local food made within the Kansai, usually made of flour, eggs, and some fresh cabbage mixed together until it transforms into some sort of a creamy batter. Other favorite varieties may combine something like a pork or other flavors. It is cooked like that of a hot cake.
- Name: Okonomiyaki of Nara City
- Website: www.hotpepper.jp/strJ000110860/
- Store genre: Local delicacies, snacks
- Hours: 8am to 7pm
- Open: Daily
5. Explore the Mount Kasuga Primeval Forest
One of Nara’s frequently visited World Heritage sites in the region, Mount Kasuga’s Primeval Forest attracts foreigners and tourists, in particular those coming to the town of Nara. It is around 500 meters high, usually stretching across space roughly more than 250 hectares. In ancient times, it was an area of religion for the mountain god of the Kasuga Taisha shrine. If you want to travel to this site, it is recommended that you just go to the Nara park and then walk around 9.5 km until you see the surrounds of the forest.
6. Visit the Naramachi Mechanical Toy Museum
Somewhat one of the historic houses in Naramachi, the Naramachi Mechanical Toy Museum is a recent toy facility that remained unchanged until renovations recently. You will have a hands-on experience handling and working some of the toys. Most children would have a good time here, playing with the mechanical iconic toys. To help convey the beauty, charm and importance of the mechanical toys, this shows Japan’s ancient culture and accomplishment. There is also a once a month a toy manufacturing course.
- Name: Naramachi Mechanical Toy Museum
- Website: karakuri-omochakan.jimdo.com/
- Interest: Museum
- Hours: 9am to 5pm
- Open: Monday to Saturday
7. Attend the Nara Tokae lights event
This wondrous event is held each year throughout the summer season. It paints the night of Nara’s ancient city like a beautiful fairy-tale. Spreading out from Nara Park in eight areas, the stunning lights of over 20,000 candles lit up space, blooming just like flowers. This event is not just for simple spectators or viewers. The Ikkyaku “Itto” or one candle for a visitor means anyone can take part and join the event. You’ll be able to carry a light-weight a candle. Isn’t this a perfect night to create for lovers. It is a lovely event for your travel and trip memories in your journal.
8. Learn craft at the Akahada-Yama Motogama Pottery
In Nara, there’s a creative studio for the famous and popular craft called“Akahada-yaki”. They usually hold sessions where you will have an awesome and great ceramic painting experience. In this handcrafting experience, you can adorn the ceramics by drawing your very own original image, design, words or song. You can even create your own tiny and small tea bowl or Chawan. If you want to learn the expertise of ancient Japanese crafts, this is the right opportunity! You would need a reservation for this session.
- Name: Akahada-Yama “Motogama” Pottery
- Address: 1049 Nara akahada-cho 630-8035
- Interest: Handicraft
- Hours: 10am to 4pm
- Open: Monday to Friday
9. Have a fill at the Soumen shop Morisho
From 1300 years ago to this day, there is a standard of creation for the Soumen. This can be done by kneading the flour, then rolling it into cylinders. The next step is by stretching it out like some kind of rope. Here in Nara, you can eat the hot Soumen. In the summer, you should attempt to have some cold Soumen. In time for the frigid cold winter, you should then have some hot numen or the very warm Soumen.
- Name: Soumen shop “Morisho”
- Website: morisho.digiweb.jp/oshinagaki.html
- Address: 535 Miwa, Sakurai, Nara Prefecture 633-0001
- Interest: Japanese food
- Hours: 9am to 8pm
- Open: Daily
10. Attend the Takigi Ono event
The firelight Noh is referred as Takigi O-Noh is a Japanese ancient music event. The plays are performed outdoors, usually lighted by bright bonfires that it up the dark night sky. It originated from the Kofukuji temple in Nara, Japan. It was said to have been first staged way back in 869. The temple is now included as a World Heritage site. You will solely see bonfires here, with no electrical lamps.
11. Take part of the “Mantoro” lantern event
This event is held in early February at the Kasuga Taisha at 6pm. This is a lantern competition that involves the lighting of 3000 bronze and stone lanterns in the surrounds of Kasuga Taisha. The shrine dates back to the year 768 AD and is surrounded by a virgin forest. The lighting of the lanterns makes the place feel ancient and mysterious. They are solely lit twice a year, with the other every August 14 to 15.
12. See the parade of the Omizutori – Otaimatsu
Every evening from 1st week of March to 2nd week of March, the monks of Todai-Ji parade their huge flaming torches around the balcony of Nigatsu-do. There are sometimes fallers embers, which spectators believed to purify them. On the evening of 12th of March, the monks then hold a water-drawing ceremony from which the competition takes its name. Mizutori actually suggests and means “to take water”.
13. Visit the Todai-Ji Temple
You may have a long trip in Nara, but you should be able to visit a great temple in the area. This is actually an excellent spot for picture taking you can share with your friends. After sipping a drink from your drinking bottle, you can then go ahead to check out the wonderful assortment of temples, shrines and art sculptures that have a long history in the region. Get pleasure from the extreme craftsmanship and skill of the details in Takai-Ji Temple.
- Name: Todai-ji Temple
- Address: 406-1 Zoshicho, Nara 630-8211, Nara Prefecture
- Phone: +81 742-22-5511
- Closed: Open all year except major festivals and holidays
- Opening hours: 8am to 6pm
14. Explore the Isui-En Garden
The Garden is the best garden in Nara. This is one of the many favorite gardens in Kansai or central Japan by a lot of people. It’s a spacious garden for walking. It has a pond and large areas of blooming flowers, plants, and trees. The place is conveniently placed and situated from the train stations to Todai-Ji Temple. You can see this from the maps given away to travelers in info offices.
- Name: Isui-En Garden
- Address: 74 Suimon-Cho, Nara-shi
- Admission: 655++ Yen
- Telephone number: 0742-25-0781
- Opening Hours: 9:30am to 4:30pm
- Nearest access: Around 15-minute short walk from the main Kintetsu line of Nara Station
- Website: http://isuien.jpn.org/en/
15. Visit the Nara Park
Nara Park is an awesome sight by itself. The place contains several different scenic spots that include a garden, temple, and shrine. The Nara Park is actually lined with pleasant pathways. It is wonderfully dotted with ponds. Undoubtedly, the most interesting feature of the park, especially for young kids and children, is the large population of the semi-wild animals. You can even buy a pack of food so you can feed these animals. However, be sure to be careful if you have small children and tiny babies.
- Name: Nara Park
- Area: Nara Prefecture
- Opening Hours: 24 hours
- Transport access: 5-minute walk from the Kintetsu Nara Station
- Admission: Free
Nara is a wonderful place to visit in Japan. There are many things to do in the city. You will be surprised at the many things you can learn and different activities you can try. Keep an open mind and motivate yourself until you try some of them.
16. Visit Toshodaiji Temple
Toshodaiji is one of the ancient temples with big walls and wonderful gardens. It dates from 759 AD when it was established by a monk Ganjin. The Kyozo and Hozo, sutra storehouses, are the oldest structures in the temple built in the Azekura era. Koro is a multi-storey structure built in the 13th century and enshrines the ashes of Buddha. There is also a golden hall named Kondo which is also a very prominent spot. The temple is one of the UNESCO’s world heritage sites.
- Name: Toshodaiji Temple
- Address: Nara, Nara Prefecture
- Phone Number: +81 742-33-7900
- Website: http://www.toshodaiji.jp/#_=_
17. Enjoy the Sarusawa-ike Lake
Sarusawa-ike is a nice break from the gift shopping and temple hopping. This is where you are privileged to see some great scenery and feed the turtles and ducks. Additionally, it is a good spot to visit before going to the Nara Park which is nothing like this place in the terms of noise.
- Name: Sarusawa-ike
- Address: Nara 630-8213, Nara Prefecture
- Phone Number: +81 9089256816
18. Get Some Info at Nara Visitor Center & Inn
Nara Visitor Center is located near the park and the pond. This is where you can find almost everything you need as a tourist. Free computers and Wi-Fi, videos about the attractions and history of Nara, a display of local craftsmanship, and a convenience store. Additionally, there are some free cultural events every day. Here is also where you can wear kimonos and have your pictures taken.
- Name: Nara Visitor Center & Inn
- Address: 3 Ikenocho, Nara 630-8361, Nara Prefecture
- Phone Number: +81 742-81-7461
19. Visit the Old Part of Town in Naramachi
While most of the people will look for the parks and temples in Nara, there is another option which can turn out to be just as exciting and fun. Naramachi is a part of town where you can see some traditional homes, shops, galleries. You can walk around and you will soon be consumed by the atmosphere and everything that the old Japan represents.
- Name: Naramachi
- Address: Nara, Nara Prefecture
20. Take the Narawalk Tour
Narawalk is an interesting group experience with some very friendly and knowledgeable local guides. You will be able to get some answers to the questions you will certainly going to have about Nara. A tea ceremony is also arranged as part of the tour. You will get acquainted with some unique local shops and restaurants.
- Name: Narawalk
- Address: 1-543-65 Shikishimacho | Meet at JR Nara Station, Central Exit, Nara 631-0031, Nara Prefecture
- Phone Number: +81 742-48-5272
- Website: http://www.narawalk.com/#_=_
21. Sake Tasting at Harushika Brewery
At Harushika Brewery, you have the chance to taste five different types of sake. The entry fee is only 500 yen. After the tasting, you get the glass you used as a gift. Then, you can go browsing and look for some sake available for sale. They are all reasonably priced and would make a great souvenir present.
- Name: Harushika Brewery
- Address: 24-1 Fukuchiincho, Nara 630-8381, Nara Prefecture
- Phone Number: +81 742-23-2255
- Website: http://www.harushika.com/#_=_
22. Nara Kotsu Bus Lines
This is a circuit bus that will take you to see the most of the attractions. The ticket is 100 yen for the entire circuit. When you feel like you are tired from walking or if you want to experience the whole city from another perspective, use their bus system.
- Name: Nara Kotsu Bus Lines
- Address: 1-1-25 Omiyacho, Nara 630-8115, Nara Prefecture
- Phone Number: +81 742-22-5110
- Website: http://www.narakotsu.co.jp/index.html#_=_
23. Shopping at Nara Family
Nara Family or Kintetsu is only a short walk away from the Saidaiji Station of Nara Line. There is a variety of stores where you can look for some presents or if you want to please yourself with some of the unique Japanese pieces of clothing. There is a food court in the basement if you get hungry.
- Name: Nara Family
- Address: 2-4-1 Saidaiji Higashimachi, Nara 631-0821, Nara Prefecture
- Phone Number: +81 742-33-1201
- Website: http://www.narafa.jp/#_=_
24. Public Baths at Yurara no Yu
This is a public bath located on the beach in the boulevard. Behind the Yurara no Yu, there is a quite large parking space. There is a mist sauna in addition to the regular sauna. If you want to get some rest or refresh yourself there is a break room and a restaurant.
- Name: Yurara no Yu, Oshikuma
- Address: 2147-1 Oshikumacho, Nara 631-0011, Nara Prefecture
- Phone Number: +81 742-40-1126
- Website: http://www.yuraranoyu.jp/oshikuma_facilities.html#oshikuma5#_=_
25. Nara National Museum
Nara National Museum tells the story of the old Nara, from the days when this city was still a capital of Japan. You will be presented with some of the great Japanese artwork from the 12th century and you can examine the old scrolls with vibrant colors glowing upon them.
- Name: Nara National Museum
- Address: Nara 630-8213, Nara Prefecture
- Phone Number: +81 742-22-7771
- Website: http://www.narahaku.go.jp/index.html#_=_
Have a good trip and travel!