Nara was the first capital of Japan, established in 710. Oddly enough, the capital changed with each new emperor that took the throne. However, after political ambitions and the Buddhist influence became a serious threat to the government, the capital was relocated to Nagaoka in 784.

Nara was the first capital of Japan

Nara deer disclaimer

Nara deer disclaimer

This city is a must-see as it has some of the oldest and largest temples in Japan. One of the most unique things about this town is the over 1,200 tame deer that freely roam the streets. They are cared for by the monks who make specially formulated treats, called senbei. Tourists can purchase senbei (150 yen – $1.45) to feed the deer.

Be respectful of the animals as they are regarded by the monks as messengers of the gods and they are really only semi-tame. A legend states that a deity, Takemikazuchi, traveled from Northern Japan to Nara on a white deer. After his journey, he resided on Mt. Mikasa above the shrine. Since this time, the deer have been considered sacred and blessed.

Nara deer disclaimer

The deer also obey traffic laws and wait until the crosswalk light is green. Crazy right!?!?!?

Nara deer disclaimer



Hotel Pagoda    ホテル パゴダ

Takabatake-cho 1122, Nara, 630-8301    

高畑町 奈良市 1122                               

* Free parking


Nino  ニーノ

Address:          11-11 Nishimikadocho | 1F Prime Bldg., Nara 630-822

Address:          630-8225西御門町11-11プライムビル1F

Hours:             5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

*Near the Kintetsu Nara Station – serves Pizza and Japanese pasta

Kamaiki     釜粋     

Address: 1 Higashimukiminamimachi, Nara

Address: 東向南町1AMI21 1F

Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

*Bowls of udon noodles, soup and proteins and tempura

Okonomiyaki Parco      パルコ   

Address: 1-1 Tsurufukuincho, Nara 630-8393, Nara Prefecture

Address:  630-8393鶴福院町1-1

Hours:  5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

*Serves okonomiyaki: a savory pancake with varied ingredients

The Ultimate Travel Guide in Nara

Want a FREE printable downloadable itinerary on this city? Simply click the image, download it, and print it for easy use.

Things to do

Kristal Ham

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