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4 Hours in Nara

Sightseeing in Nara

1) Nara World Heritage Walking Tour:

Experience the Sacred Sites of Nara Park (4 hours)

Start at Kintetsu Nara Station

Walk 20 minutes

[1. Todaiji Temple] 90 minutes (Fees: Great Buddha Statue [500 yen]; Hokke-do [500 yen]; Todaiji Museum [500 yen])

Walk 15 minute

[2. Kasugataisha Shrine] 45 minutes (Fee: 500 yen donation recommended)

Walk 20 minute

[3. Kofukuji Temple] 45 minutes (Fees: National Treasure Museum [600 yen]; Tokon-do [300 yen])

Walk 5 minutes to Kintetsu Nara Station. Ride the Kintetsu Line 15 minutes to JR Nara Station

Option

If you have the time, why not stroll through the historic streetscape of the Naramachi district, which is near Kofukuji?

Todaiji Temple
(Fees: Great Buddha Statue [500 yen]; Hokke-do [500 yen]; Todaiji Museum [500 yen])

This symbol of Tempyo-era (AD 729–749) culture is home to Japan’s largest Buddhist statue, which is housed in the world’s largest wooden building. It also has the ornate carved figures of Hokke-do, and is known as the site of the annual spring Omizutori ritual. Even a full day’s sightseeing is hardly enough to take in everything in detail. As you enjoy the historic setting, why not purchase sembei rice crackers (150 yen each) to feed to the deer that roam the temple grounds?

English website:
http://www.todaiji.or.jp/english/index.html

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Kasugataisha Shrine
45 minutes (Fee: donation [500 yen])

Heading through the torii gate and along the long pathway, the brilliant vermillion of the shrine’s main building seems to float among the deep green of ancient Japanese cedar trees. Visit on February 8 to sample the spellbinding atmosphere of the Mantoro lantern festival.

English website:
http://www.kasugataisha.or.jp/about/index_en.html

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Kofukuji Temple
45 minutes (Fees: National Treasure Museum [600 yen]; Tokon-do [300 yen])

In this temple’s heyday, its grounds held some 175 separate structures. Attractions include a five-story pagoda, the golden temple of Tokon-do, and the Buddhist statues housed in the National Treasure Museum. You can also enjoy cultural experiences such as Takigi-Noh—an ancient form of musical theatre performed at night amid the illumination of burning torches—and the annual Setsubun festival.

English website:
http://www.kohfukuji.com/english.html

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